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Full text of "Babylon electrified: the history of an expedition undertaken to restore ancient Babylon by the power of electricity and how it resulted;"




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Presented to the 

LIBRARY of the 

UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO 

by 
WiUardG.Oxtoby 



Babylon Electrified. 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2007 with funding from 

IVIicrosoft Corporation 



http://www.archive.org/details/babylonelectrifiOObleuuoft 



Babylon Electrified 

THE HISTORY OF AN EXPEDITION UNDERTAKEN TO RESTORE ANCIENT 
BABYLON BY THE POWER OF ELECTRICITY AND HOW IT RESULTED 

BY 

A. BLEUNARD 

DOCTOR OF SCIENCES 

TRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH BY FRANK LINSTOW WHITE 



ILLUSTRATED BY MONTADER 




PHILADELPHIA 
GEBBIE & CO., Publishers 



1889 



Copyrighted, 1889, by Gebbie & Co. 




COISTTENTS 



FIRST PART. 



MESOPOTAMIA. 



Chapter 



I. 


Captain Laycock's Project 


PAGE 
. 1 


II. 


A Dream . . . . . 


. 9 


in. 


A Calculation with a Negative Result 


. 14 


lY. 


A Great Discovery . 


. 22 


Y. 


At Sea .... 


. 30 


YI. 


On the Banks of the Orontes 


. 39 


YII. 


Fatma ..... 


. 57 


YIII. 


The Euphrates 


. 68 


IX. 


Babylon .... 


. 76 


X. 


The Discovery of Grimmitschoffer 


. 85 


XT. 


From Bagdad to Mosul 


. 94 


XII. 


The Grotto of .B avian 


, 109 


XIIT. 


The Hydraulic Works 


. 120 


XIY. 


Across the high Mountains 


. 130 


XY. 


A Sad Event . . 


. 143 


XYL 


The Yalley of the Dyalah 


. 154 



SECOND PART. 



THE ELECTRIC WORKS. 



Chapter I. Liberty . 

" IT. The Ivasr and Babel 

TIT. The Sam 



(5) 



161 
169 
182 



CONTENTS. 



Cbaftkr ly. From Babylon to the Persian Gulf 

V. The Electric Lighthouse 

VI. The Lighting of Liberty 

VIL The Great Works 

VIIL Tili^ge and Cooking by Electricity 

IX. The End of an Arch^ologist 

X. A Revolt .... 

'* XI. The Thermo-Solar Pile 

XII. The Cal3I before the Storm 

XHL New Causes for Anxiety 

*' XIV. Jack Adams .... 

*' XV. Destruction of the Hydraulic Works 

XVI. The Revenge .... 

XVII. Ruin and Desolation 

*' XVIII. A Year After .... 



PAGE 
. 191 

. 206 

. 217 

. 226 

. 235 

. 242 

. 249 

. 254 

. 262 

. 270 

. 276 

. 281 

. 285 

. 295 

. 301 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



PAGE 

Discussins^ the captain's project . 1 

Captain Laycock 2 

The geologist 4 

His lordship 6 

Tail-jjtece 8 

A vision 9 

Tail-piece — In the desert ... 13 

In Badger's study 14 

"Jack Adams was alone in the 

library of his lordship " ... 18 
Tail-piece — An important calcu- 
lation 21 

" Babylon will be reconstructed " 22 

The French electrician .... 25 

The reporter 25 

Engineer Bhicton 26 

Tail-piece — The Davy and the 

Faraday 29 

' 'At sea " 30 

"A magnificent bolis " .... 36 
Tail-piece — "She could not tear 
herself away from her contem- 
plation " 38 

On the banks of the Orontes . . 39 

The caravan 43 

A rough road 47 

Marrah 51 

' ' The sheikh came to meet them " 53 

"J^ Zrt(/j/ Mohammed " ... 54 

Tad-piece — A dowar ..... 56 

Aleppo 57 

A ruined city 59 

"Fatma . . . had fallen at the 

foot of the tomb" .... 61 

"The chief of the band" ... 63 

A caravan 66 



Tail-piece 

Thekalak 

The ruined bridge of Deir . . . 

Tail-piece — A Mesopotamian tur- 
tle 

Hillah 

' ' Badger . . . was looking anx- 
iously in the direction of the 
city" 

Flatnose at work 

Tail-piece — Chef Green . . . 

"The discovery of Grimmit- 
schofi'er " 

A native husbandman .... 

Tail-piece — Mr. Grimmitschoffer . 

An eastern court-yard .... 

" It seemed to him that the young 
girl's eyes were wet" . . . 

The Bagdad of the Arabian Nights 

The Bagdad of reality .... 

" From Tekrit to Mosul" . . . 

Tail-piece 

The grotto of Bavian . . . . 

Nebbi-Yunus 

" Grimmitschoffer was beside him- 
self with joy" 

A subterranean cascade . . . . 

Tail-2jiece — The governess . . , 

Among the mountains . . . . 

A picturesque road 

Wild flowers 

At Rowandiz 

"They entered a deep hollow" . 

Flatnose' s fall 

Tail-piece 

Kurds 

(7) 



PAGE 

67 
68 
72 

75 

76 



78 
80 

84 

85 
88 
93 
94 

95 
98 
100 
105 
108 
109 
111 

113 
118 
119 
120 
125 
128 
129 
136 
141 
142 
143 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 





PAGE 




PAGE 


^'FlatiMwe ... had been killed 




On the road to Babylon . . . 


224 


iwuntjy" 


146 


The future canals 


226 


*'Don't move, plcase^" . . . . 


152 


" He drew the name of Nedjef ". 


228 


f^.*/ m^m^.n^ A CnntnW Itl />1 Vl 1 1 71 f irtll 1 ^^ 


T^ifrcrinfir oanals * • . . 


232 


The Le«ser Zab 


154 


A native laborer 


233 


*'GrinniiiU?cIioffer . . . discov- 




An electric kitchen . . • . . . 


235 


ered a colossal head of stone " . 


159 


The editor's table 


239 


7?ii/-/>iVcr— The camp .... 


160 


Tail-piece — An electric roast . . 


241 


Liberty 


161 


The mad archaeologist . . . . 


242 


** You treat me like the little prin- 




GrimmitscliolFer's discovery . . 


246 


cesses in the fairy tales " . . 


166 


Tail-piece — Gail & Co.'s make 


248 


Tnil-pieoe — * * Protection against 




A strike 


249 


sunstroke" 


168 


Tail-piece — The refractory Mos- 




On the Kasr 


169 


lem 


253 


Monsieur Cornille 


174 
177 


The riot 


954 


"An improvised lunch " . . . 


A malignant native 


256 


TfiiV/MVcr^— The Mouchot appa- 




Tail-piece — The moving power 


261 


ratus 


181 

182 


The calm before the storm . . . 
The congregation of the faith- 


*?6? 


The hunt 




*'The horses were tied to some 




ful 


267 


palms" 


184 


Tail-piece — The two friends . . 


269 


*'They advanced only with ex- 




On the road to Bagdad . . . . 


270 


treme difficulty " 


186 


" Death to the Christians " . . 


274 


**Cahuzac . . . came back, push- 




Tail-piece — The electric road . . 


275 


ing a hamper before him " . . 


188 


Jack Adams and Fatma . . . 


276 


An unfortunate savant .... 


189 


Tail-piece — Fatma 


280 


Tdil-jnrce — Game 


190 


"Destruction of the hydraulic 




To the Persian Gulf 


191 


works" 


281 


Chaldeans 


196 


The work of destruction . . . 


283 


At Waraba and Bubian .... 


200 


The revenge 


285 


A rare native 


204 


On a war footing 


287 


The electric lighthouse .... 


206 


"This is my will" 


290 


Miss Nelly 


210 


Tail-piece 


294 


The silent bearer of dispatches . 


213 


The explosion 


295 


Til iipiecr— The electric lamp . . 


216 


A miraculous escape . . . . 


';^99 


The lighting of Liberty 


217 


Tailpiece— The Kasr in flames . 


300 


(frimm at work 


220 


A year after 


301 


"'They showed themselves un- 
veiled" 


221 


Tail-piece— An opponenti to pro- 
gress 


304 







FIRST PART, 



MESOPOTAMIA.. 



CHAPTER I. 



CAPTAIN LAYCOCK'S PROJECT. 

A LARGE gathering was assembled that evening at the London 
house of Sir James Badger, baronet. The principal members of 
Parliament, of the bar, of the financial world, were there. The arts, 
literature, and the sciences had also furnished their most illustrious 
rej^resentatives. 

Lord Badger was a man of about fifty years of age, robust and 
tall. He had been early bereft of a wife whom he had loved 
tenderly; but there was left to him a young daughter, between 
twenty and twenty-two years of age, Miss Nelly, on whom all his 
strength of affection was concentrated. One of the richest pro- 
prietors in. England — his fortune was estimated at over twenty mil- 

(1) 



, BABYLON ELECTKIFIED. 

lio«8 of iMiunds, Sterling-Lord Badger took pleasure in promoting 
S/onrerpri.4, if they s^med to him in the least to have a use- 
ful aim Proud of the adventurous spirit of his countrymen, he 
coiild b^ extremely liberal with his money when some distant voyage 
or innK>rtant discovery was in question. 

"Gladstone," an influential member of Parliamtnt was saying 
at this moment, "Gladstone makes too many concessions with regard 
to Eg}'pt We must remain the masters of that country, if we do 
not wish to be driven from the Indies by the Russians.'^ ^ 

"The English," replied a little old man with a clean-shaven 
feoe "are most assuredly making all efforts to guard the roads 

which lead to the Indies. 
Cyprus belongs to us, and 
we have the protectorate 
of Asia Minor. As to 
Egypt, it is to be hoped 
that we shall soon emerge 
victorious from the present 
difficulties. England, when 
her interests are at stake, 
never flinches." 

Applause greeted these 
patriotic words, which 
gained in importance from 
the fact that they were 
uttered by one who was 
a public favorite and ^^ ho 
held a high position in the Ministry. 

The conversation then took another turn. The latest novel, the 
exhil)ition of paintings, the play in vogue at the moment, became the 
subjects of discussion. 

" Gentlemen," suddenly said a person who had not taken part in 
tlie conversation before, "permit me to recur for an instant to the 
Ejjyptian question." 

The speaker was a tall man, with a red and sun-burnt face, and 
flowing whiskers. His energetic physiognomy proclaimed him to be 
a man accust<imed to brave danger. It was Captain Laycock, of the 
Royal Navy, who had made the tour of the world five times, and 
had been in many a scrimmage. 




BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 3 

"England," he continued, "seeks to get possession of the two 
routes which lead to the Indies. The first and most important at 
the present time is Egypt : it may be said to belong to us. As to 
the second, that begins opposite to Cyprus, passes round Arabia, and 
ends at the Persian Gulf. This route, in the near future, may become 
the rival of the first. I ask you, gentlemen, if it is not time for 
England to begin to think of preparing the roads of the future by 
improving a route which will be among the most effective for the 
exchange of our products. Some persons have already thought of 
constructing a railway to connect the Mediterranean with the Indies. 
Several plans have already been proposed, but all met with grave 
obstacles." 

" Did you not make one of an expedition to Asia Minor and 
Mesopotamia?" interrupted Badger, addressing the captain. 

" Yes, my lord." 

"Will you, then, please to give us some information about this 
curious country, so that our ideas on the subject may be more clearly 
defined?" 

" AVith pleasure," said the captain. " We see that Mesopotamia, 
from the earliest times, was the rival of Egypt, to which country, 
moreover, its physical form gives it more than one point of resem- 
blance. By turns these two favored countries dis])uted the monopoly 
of the exchange between Europe and Asia. History tells us that 
under the reign of Xebuchadnezzar Babylon became the great mart of 
the world. Teredon, on the Persian Gulf, and Tyre, on the ^Mediter- 
ranean, were the two extreme points at which the thoroughfare between 
Asia and Europe began and ended." 

At this point the captain was interrupted by Miss Nelly, who in- 
vited Lord Badger's guests to draw nearer to the tea-table which two 
servants had just brought in. Nothing could be more charming than 
the modest grace with which this young girl, a perfect type of English 
beauty, did the honors of her father's salon. AYhile rising and com- 
ing forward in answer to her call, the men continued their conver- 
sation. 

" Permit me to call your attention to the fact, my dear captain," a 
celebrated geologist interposed at this point, "that the superiority of 
the road from Teredon to Tyre is due to the natural configuration of 
that part of Asia. Mesopotamia is a vast plain which abuts at the 
northwest on the Mediterranean. It is true that a mountain chain 



^ BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

skirts the lx>iders of that sea. But, opposite to the island of Cyprus, 
this chain (liniinishes in height to admit of easy communication be- 
tween the valley of the Euphrates and that of the Orontes. Thus 
you see that the route of Nebuchadnezzar was wholly laid out by 

nature." 

" Your remark proves but one thing, my dear Mrp Monaghan,'' re- 
sumed the captain, "and that is that Mesopotamia is inevitably 
destined to n^in one day the station from which it has fallen. Com- 
mercial routes cannot depart from natural lines. The course of his- 
ton- proves the truth of what I have just asserted. At the time of 
tlie wnquest of Mesopotamia by the Persians the new occupants, it i& 
true, obstructed the river Euphrates for purposes of defence ; but as soon 

as Alexander had driven out the Persians 
he made haste to re-establish the commer- 
cial routes. He caused an immense basin 
to be dug at Babylon, and that city became 
an important port, where thousands of 
ships unloaded their merchandise. Sev- 
eral centuries afterward the Arabs drove 
out the Greeks ; nevertheless, the pros- 
perity of Babylon continued during the 
early years of the Mussulman occupation, 
and it remained for the Turkish con- 
quest to reduce this country to the miser- 
able state in which we see it to-day. 
Thus, gentlemen, you see that Babylonia 
for many centuries remained the principal route of commerce be- 
tween Asia and Europe. It is true that this splendor has wholly dis- 
ap|>eared in our day : where once there stood numerous rich and 
|)opulous cities nothing is now to be seen but heaps of rubbish scattered 
alxnit in the sands of tlie desert. But that which has been may be 
a^in. Why could not our daring countryman. Lord Badger, who is 
stopped by no obstacles, why could he not undertake the resurrection 
of til is vast country ? " 

Ca])tain Laycock's proposition was certainly calculated to please the 
adventurous spirit of his lordship ; yet Badger was not the man to 
become enthusiastic and to take up the matter in this way without con- 
siderinjr all the difficulties of the undertaking. He desired, therefore^ 
to have an exact account of the state of the country in question. 




BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 5 

" Captain," he replied immediately to him who had called upon him 
to take the initiative in the matter, '^ can you tell me why Mesopo- 
tamia has become a desert after so long a period of prosperity? You 
understand the importance of my question. It is to be feared, in fact, 
that the causes of its decadence are irremediable. It seems strange to 
me that a country inhabited during a long succession of centuries 
should by degrees have become a sterile desert. If the decadence of 
the country is due to the faults of the inhabitants or to the migrations 
of civilization, it is possible to revive its ancient prosperity. But if 
nature has become modified, if the rivers are less full, if the sources 
have dried up, if the sands of Arabia have invaded the rich cultivated 
lands of bygone times, I think these regions must be left in their con- 
dition, for it is not within the power of man to restore the former 
order of nature.'^ 

" My lord," replied the captain, " this is what I noted during my 
voyage in Mesopotamia. To-day, as formerly, the soil is remarkably 
fertile wherever there is water. I believe, therefore, that it is simply 
necessary to repair the canals in order to cover Mesopotamia with a 
vegetation as luxurious as it was in antiquity and to enable the country 
to maintain millions of inhabitants." 

Monaghan then began to speak : 

" I cannot," said he, " allow what Captain Laycock has said to pass 
by without submitting a few observations which may, perhaps, be of 
a nature to modify his opinion. In travelling through Asia Minor 
and along the coast of Palestine it soon becomes evident that changes 
have taken place in the nature of the climate since past ages. There 
where, as history tells us, rich cultivated lands formerly gave sup- 
port to numerous populations the dismal desert now extends far and 
wide. It is the lack of water tliat causes this sterility. There is less 
rainfall in our day, and the old river-beds are either altogether dried 
u]) or contain but an insignificant stream of water. Hills which were 
formerly cultivated from base to summit are to-day scorched by the 
rays of an implacable sun." 

" And is the cause of this scarcity of water known ? " asked some 
one. 

" Yes," replied Monaghan. " It is due to the disappearance of the 
ancient forests, and, what is much more important, to the change in 
the direction of the atmospheric currents, which no longer bring the 
vapors with which they become charged in passing over thfe seas." 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



Diirinj? the whole of this conversation between Captain Laycock 
awl the jreolojrist Monaghan, James Badger had remained silent; one 
would have said that he was balancing in his mind the hope which the 
firet had given him and the discouraging reasons which the other 

^ ' suggest "■" 




^^=^' 



seemed to suggest to 
him. • 

"Captain," he said, 
suddenly, addressing 
honest Laycock, " I 
think that your propo- 
sition deserves to be 
studied very attentively^ 
and, whatever objec- 
tions it may call forth, 
I thank you for having 
communicated it and for 
having thought of me 
as the one to put it 
into execution. And 
now, gentlemen, I in- 
vite you to take a cup 
of tea." 

The conversation 
once more became gen- 
eral, and covered the 
most varying subjects. 

But Lord Badger 
and Captain Laycock 
remained silent, each 
absorbed in his thoughts. 

Lord Badger reflect- 
ed on the project of 
the captain; the more 
he thought of it the 
more the execution of 



this project pleased him by its grandeur and by the advantages which 
his country would derive from it. Laycock, on the other hand, could 
not call the assertions of the geologist, Monaghan, into question. The 
climate of this western portion of Asia had evidently undergone great 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 7 

chano-es. In order to revive civilization in the midst of these des- 
erts, it would be necessary to restore artificially what nature had herself 
destroyed, by making use of the power given to man by modern sci- 
ence, and supplying the deficiency in the rainfall by raising the waters 
of the Tigris and the Euphrates, so as to spread the fertilizing liquid 
throughout the country by means of more numerous canals. 

While the conversation around him became more animated, Cap- 
tain'T.aycock was lost more and more in contemplation of this work 
of the future. He saw Mesopotamia becoming, in a short time, the 
public granary of all Europe. Besides grain, a large number of 
other useful plants might be cultivated. The North would furnish 
the finest fruit-trees : the cherry, apple, pear, plum, orange, lemon, 
pomegranate — all natives of Asia Minor and of Mesopotamia. liower 
down, other plants, still more useful, would be added — the sugar- 
cane and the cotton plant, both sources of industries of the greatest 
importance. Finally, in Lower Mesopotamia, around Babylon itself, 
forests of date-palms could be cultivated. 

The Holy Scriptures located the terrestrial Paradise in IMesopotamia, 
and not without reason. Where could a land be found better adapted 
to the welfare of man ? Here, the sky is of a splendor unknown in 
the misty countries of Europe ; the soil, as fertile as that of Egypt, 
lends itself to the cultivation of the most varying products. Why 
delay longer a pacific conquest which would furnish an outlet for the 
crowded populations of the old continent ? 

Unfortunately, to dig canals, to raise the waters, to construct and 
work manufactories, would require an enormous force, and Mesopo- 
tamia itself offered no resources. Deprived of forests and of coal- 
mines, it lacked fuel, the first requisite of all operations. 

Thus Captain Laycock was obliged to admit that, notwithstanding 
the fascinating grandeur of the work, its execution was well-nigh 
impossible. Lord Badger, who, by a natural coincidence, had him- 
self arrived at a similar conclusion, approached the sailor and said 
abruptly : 

^' Captain Laycock, I shall undertake the execution of your project 
if you find coal in Mesopotamia.^' 

'^Alas, my lord," exclaimed the captain, who was not surprised by 
Badger's words, so exactly did they correspond with his own thoughts, 
'' that is impossible." 



BABYrX)N ELECTRIFIED. 

"Tlien/* replied Batlger, "your project is likewise impossible of 

realization ? " 

*• Partlon rae," said one of those present, who had been listening 
attentively to the words exchanged between the captain and Badger ; 
" you lack coal, but you have electricity." 

He who six)ke was a tall young man, with a black beard, sharp 
eyes, and a physiognomy that was southern rather than Anglo-Saxon 
in character. 

It was an engineer ; one Jack Adams. 

"Explain yourself, Mr. Adams," said his lordship, who did not 
fully understand the significance of the engineer's remark. 

"That is quite simple, my lord," replied the latter. "Although 
coal is wanting, natural forces abound in the very heart of Mesopo- 
tamia. Now, at this day, science is sufficiently advanced to enable you 
to transform all the natural forces into electricity, and this again into 
new forces which will replace advantageously the coal which you 
lack." 

At this ix)int Jack Adams was suddenly interrupted by the voice 
of a stout j)erson, who called to his lordship : 

" We are waiting only for you to complete a party at whist. Come, 
now, make haste ; you can talk of serious things to-morrow." 

"That is true," said Badger, addressing the captain and Jack 
Adams ; " this evening I must devote myself to my guests. But call 
on me to-morrow morning, if you please, Mr. Adams. We can then 
talk of the means of reconstructing ancient Babylon." 





CHAPTER II. 



A DREAM. 



Jack Adams' words had produred a deep impression on Lord 
Badger. But little versed in matters of electricity, that science which, 
though so modern, had already been so fruitful in results, he could 
have but an imjierfect idea of the consequences of that which the 
engineer had revealed to him. Yet it was enough to enable him to 
perceive the possibility of bringing the project of Captain Lay cock to 
a successful issue. 

When the last of his guests had taken leave, and he had embraced 
his dear Nelly more tenderly than usual, his lordship went down into 
his garden. He felt the need of being alone and breathing more 
freely. The over-heated air in the rooms seemed to obscure the ideas 
that thronged his brain. 

As he walked slowly down the paths, he thought of the numerous 
incidents of the evening. The captain's proposition, the objections 
made by Monaghan, had left him wavering between hope and fear, 
when tlie magic word electricity, uttered by Jack Adams, had restored 
his confidence by offering new vistas to his mind. It appeared to him 
then that the resurrection of jNIesopotamia, the restoration of Babylon 
to its original power and splendor, were matters possible of realiza- 
tion, and he saw in himself the one marked out for that work. 

While he was abandoning himself to these thoughts, which the pro- 
found silence that reigned about him seemed to favor, the coolness of 

(9) 



,0 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

the night and the perfunic-ladcn air of the garden restored order and 
calm to his ideas, wliich had jnst been in such a state of ebullition. 

Badger retired to rest with his heart full of faith in the future. 
Nevertheless, the night had only momentarily quieted him ; he was 
hanlly in IxhI Ix'fore this feverishness seized upon him. 

He fanciwl himself transported suddenly into thAs Mesopotamia 
whieh he wished to restore. He was not on the ground ; he hovered 
in the air at a height of several thousand yards. The atmosphere was 
of an admirable purity ; in spite of the distance, he could clearly dis- 
tinguish the smallest details. 

An immense desert lay stretched below him. The sands nndulated 
like the waves of a raging sea. Some islets of verdiu-e stood out, at 
long inten-als, from the grayish ground of the soil ; and these islets 
were inhabited by families of nomadic shepherds, who were pasturing 
their flocks. He saw some of these shepherds travelling through the 
desert, mounted on camels, and going from one oasis to another. 

Raising his eyes, he perceived nothing in the distance, at first, but 
a confused mass of mountain-chains. The day was beginning to 
break. The mountain-tops, which obstructed the horizon towards the 
east, was tinged with the colors of the rainbow. The desert appeared 
to continue with the same uniformity to the very base of this long 
chain. 

He then perceived that a light breath of air was carrying him 
gradually towards the East. The mountains became more and more 
visible, their outlines more clearly defined. 

The desert was transformed as he advanced. Immense plains of 
lemon-trees now succeeded the uncultivated sands. The tufts of trees 
became more and more rare. Two broad rivers, silvery white, w^ound 
along jxirallel to the mountain-chain. Following their course towards 
the south, he saw them lose themselves in the sea which sparkled on 
the far horizon. 

It suddenly appeared to him that he was not alone in the air. A 
whirr of wings struck his ears. He turned around and saw nothing 
but the boundless desert through which he had passed. Nevertheless 
there soon arose a voice, which said to him : 

" Fear nothing, mortal ; I am the genius of the place which thou 
lieholdest. It is I who have brought thee hither. Thou dost not see 
me, for the spirits do not take upon them a material form ; thou canst 
only hear me. The sun is rising in the midst of the brilliant dawn: 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 11 

thou wilt distinguish the smallest details. The desert over which thou 
wert liovering before is Arabia. The two rivers are the Tigris and 
the Euplirates; the mountains which border the horizon separate 
Persia from Mesopotamia. Thou wilt now easily understand why 
this country has so long been a centre of civilization. Mesopotamia 
is narrowly confined between the desert of Arabia and the mountain- 
chains. Thanks to the two rivers which irrigate it, it is like a second 
Egypt, a belt of land of an incomparable fertility in the midst of 
barren sands. The populations of Arabia, of the high plateaus of 
Asia Minor, of Persia, have always sought to descend towards these 
fertile plains. If I add further that the Tigris and the Euphrates 
place the Mediterranean in almost direct communication with the In- 
dian Ocean, thou hast the secret of the prosperity of ancient Meso- 
potamia. 

^' The cities," continued the spirit, after a moment of silence, "have 
here attained an incomparable splendor. The names of Babylon and 
Nineveh have come down through the centuries, giving to men the idea 
of strange and marvellous cities. Yet thou wilt seek in vain for the 
ruins of these ancient capitals. Tiieir palaces are reduced to dust. 
Look at these small hillocks scattered throughout the plain : those are 
the last remains of the cities of Mesopotamia. 

" Tiie spectacle before thine eyes is a sad one. Nowhere has man 
so turned up the soil and transformed nature ; but nowhere else, on 
the other hand, has nature with such rapidity regained possession of 
her empire and destroyed the works of man. The bricks of which 
the houses were constructed have been reducefl to dust by the action 
of the elements. As to the canals dug so laboriously to distribute 
water everywhere and fertilize the soil, they have been filled up by the 
sands of the desert carried in by the winds. 

" So long as the populations of Mesopotamia were active and in- 
dustrious man overcame the barrenness of the soil ; this country was 
flourishing and prosperous. But since a weakened people has gov- 
erned the land the ancient splendor has disappeared to give place to 
ruin and desolation. 

" The time is close at hr.nd, O mortal ! Civilization will recover the 
dominion lost for so many years. Look : thou shalt be permitted to 
behold the wonders of the future. '^ 

The spirit ceased to speak and the most profound silence continued 
to reign for a brief time. Suddenly a fearful noise was heard in the 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



skv, like a terrific iK?al of thunder. The air became suddenly dark. 
L^ht vapors arose slowly from the earth and rolled like the waves of 

the sea. 

But all at once a new phenomenon was produced. The vapors os- 
cillate and break up in all directions, and the wind carries them off 
bevond the mountains. The sun is radiant in the sky ; its rays flood 
a magic spectacle. 

All of Mesopotamia is transformed. 

The Tigris and the Euphrates now flow in the midst of an ocean 
of verdure ; Mesopotamia resembles a forest of palm-trees. Sump- 
tuous cities rise on all sides, with magnificent palaces towering towards 
the sky. Numerous canals wind about among the trees ; innumerable 
shij>s sail in all directions. Ev^erywhere the mixed crowd is active 
and busy. 

Babylon is reconstructed. It has again become an immense port, 
where all the ships of the world come to load and unload their wares. 
The Euphrates and the Tigris, connected by a thousand canals, bear 
fleets towards the two seas. The Mediterranean communicates with 
the rivers whiqh have become the principal artery of the world. 

The voice of the genius ^vas heard again : 

"See, O mortal, wliat the efforts of man can accomplish. He has 
known how to employ the forces of nature, and prosperity has 
promptly taken the place of desolation. I shall reveal to thee the 
.<?ocrct of the power of this people. Science has made them free. 
They live conformably to the laws of reason. Impregnated with all 
noble ideas, they have become the most civilized people on earth. 
They have known how to avail themselves of the greatest force of the 
universe — electricity. This has increased the forces of man a hun- 
dredfold. This small corner of Asia shows thee what later on the 
surface of the glolxi will become." 

" I must go nearer," exclaimed Badger, " and see this marvellous 
8|x>ctacle closer at hand. From the height at Avhich I hover the de- 
tails are effaced, and I can but see the general effect." 

" Imiwssible," replied the spirit ; " I cannot let thee view the future 
closer by. It is thus that the genius of man divines future ages 
without l)cing conscious of the details." 

" I shall then approach in spite of you ! " cried Badger, suddenly 
»eizcd with an insiuie desire to know all. " I need but let myself fall 
to the ground ! " 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



IS 



" Be it so/^ said the spirit, " it shall be done according to thy wish.'' 

Badger now felt himself falling gradually. The descent began 
slowly, but he soon saw, to his dismay, that it accelerated rapidly. 

AVhat a surprise ! The nearer he approached to the earth the more 
the panorama which he had admired a moment before dimmed and 
vanished. What a deception ! The cities crumbled and sank, the 
forests disappeared and gave place to the sands of the desert. The 
canals dried up and became filled with earth. 

The rapidity of his fall still increased. Space whirled round madly ; 
a sharp, whistling noise filled his ears. His head swam round. He 
touched the ground at last with a frightful crash ! 

Lord Badger awoke w^ith a start. He had sprung with one bound 
to the middle of his chamber. 

Somewhat stunned, his first care was to make sure that he was not 
hurt. The sun's bright rays penetrated into the apartment. His 
lordship then remembered the appointment which he had made with 
Jack Adams, and went at once to his dressing-room, so that he might 
be ready to receive the engineer. AVhile dressing Badger recalled to 
mind the various events of the dream which had troubled him during 
the night, and he seemed to discover a prophetic meaning in it. "No 
matter," he said at length, as if replying to his own thoughts, " even 
though my part should be but the daily struggle with nature and with 
men, without ever being permitted to judge my work in its entirety ; 
even though I should have to leave the enjoyment and success to those 
who will come after me — I shall try." 





CHAPTER III. 



A CALCULATION WITH A NEGATIVE RESULT. 

We are now in the spacious library, which serves also as study. 

Jjon] Badger, as we have already perceived, was not only a man of 
great and strong imagination ; he was also practical to a high degree. 
A combination less rare than is generally supposed, and which alone 
pnxlucxs truly sujierior men. As soon as he had conceived some grand 
project, and had thoroughly considered it, he felt the need of causing 
it to pass from pure theory into the domain of fact, subjecting it to the 
test of j)ractice. 

He had the good sense to understand that, as the education he had 
received, though, it is true, very complete, was general in- character, he 
wa.-^ not qualified to judge for himself to what extent his projects were 
♦•aiiable of realization, no more than he would have been able to carry 
them out alone, when once the possibility of realizing them had been 
recognized. He therefore took care to surround himself with special- 
(14) 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 15 

ists, and he was almost always fortunate in his choice of men. This 
he had proven once again by applying to the electrician, Jack Adams, 
Avho had allowed him to perceive the possibility of realizing his project. 
Jack Adams had already attained celebrity by several brilliant in- 
ventions. Still young, hardly thirty-five years of age, he possessed 
the ardent confidence which sustains courage and enables one to per- 
form wonders. He believed in the future of his favorite science, in 
the good which electricity would bestow some day on civilization. 
Bound by no ties, he would devote himself body and soul to a great 
enterprise such as the one which now occupied Badger's thoughts. 

It will thus be understood with what impatience the latter, now 
seated in his study, awaited the engineer. Badger's dream \N'as very 
vague ; it floated among clouds of purple, sparkling in the golden 
liglit of the sun ; but its indistinct forms were fleeting and seemed to 
vanish whenever he attempted to determine them. 

AYas it not to be feared that a thorough discussion would set all these 
fine illusions at naught ? Would his conference with the engineer give 
substance to the spirit, or was it going to destroy his chimera by prov- 
ing to him that it was not capable of realization? Was the science of 
electricity sufficiently advanced to authorize an experiment on so grand 
a scale? 

Fortunately, Jack Adams was himself a visionary — science claims 
such as well as faith. This dream of his lordship, he had often had it, 
})ut without ever having fixed his thoughts upon it ; for he saw no pos- 
sibility of a realization. He lacked money. A communion of ideas 
between these two men was thus inevitable ; Badger and Jack Adams 
had the same aspiration. The first brought to the second the Avhere- 
withal to realize their common ideal. 

At the time appointed for the interview the door-bell rang, and, al- 
most immediately after. Jack Adams was ushered into the presence of 
his lordship. The latter stepped forward eagerly to meet him, and they 
had hardly shaken hands when the thought uppermost in his mind 
found expression in the question : 

" Well ! night brings counsel, it is said ; do you still believe this 
morning, as you affirmed you did last night, that the science of elec- 
tricity is sufficiently advanced to enable us to reconquer the deserts of 
Mesopotamia for civilization ? Can man manage this fluid with suffi- 
cient facility to enable us to direct towards Babylon the natural forces 
of its surroundings ? " 



1^ BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

" I believe in the success of the enterprise/' replied Jack Adams. 
" The natural forces which we can find with certainty in the vicinity 
of MesoiK)taniia are : the rays of the sun, the streams and rivers, the 
winds, the waves of the sea and its tides. Perhaps we shall have the 
gtMKl fortune to discover coal and petroleum. If these are found in 
large quantities, our work will be simplified. But w^ must not count 
UKt much on these auxiliaries, so rare in that part of Asia. Besides, 
tlie other forces will be amply sufficient. By means of Mouchot's solar 
apparatus we will produce the steam necessary for setting the electric 
machines in motion. Turbines will serve to obtain the power of the 
torrents and rivei-s; windmills will utilize the force of the winds. As 
to the waves and tides of the ocean, we can transform them into a 
utilizable motion by very ingenious operations. '' 

" I jxTceive very well," resumed his lordship, " on what you depend 
for obtaining the necessary quantity of electricity. But, supposing that 
you obtained it in sufficient quantity, could you make suitable use 
of it?" 

" Undoubtedly," replied the engineer. " The cables, tracing their 
pa-ssage in tlie air, in the sands, in the depths of the seas, will bring 
tlie fluid for us into immense reservoirs where it will accumulate. 
Then, renewing our store of electricity proportionally to our needs, Ave 
shall make it work according to our wishes. With it, we shall move 
alx)ut with rapidity among the new cities and the plains of Mesopota- 
mia ; with it, we shall illuminate our dwellings with a brilliancy com- 
]>arable to that of the sun. It shall draw our plows and turn up the 
furrows, from which abundant harvests will spring. Thanks to elec- 
tricity, we shall lx?come modern demi-gods. Then, we shall indeed 
have carried off the liglitning from heaven, to make it descend to the 
earth. We shall have transformed into an arm of civilization that 
which was formerly only a terrible agent of death ! " 

" See how you excite yourself," said his lordship, smiling. " Calm 
yourself, for I still fear that the reality may not be equal to the dream. 
Are you absolutely certain that Mesopotamia will offi^r the resources 
of which you have just spoken to me? " 

" Yes," replied the engineer. " Have you a map of the oountry ? " 

" An excellent one," said Badger. " Let us go up to my study ; we 
Hhall find maj)s and books there which will give us accurate informa- 
tion." 

Lonl James P>adger was a scholar. His library contained ever}- 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 17 

thing remarkable that had appeared in several centuries. Geography, 
especially, occupied several shelves. 

A gigantic atlas was spread out on the table. Jack Adams opened 
it at the map of the world. 

" My lord," said the engineer, " on this map of the world you see a 
great white belt, parallel to the equator. It represents the space oc- 
cupied by the tropical deserts. This belt commences in North Africa, 
on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, and it extends across the whole 
width of the continent. It is the desert of Sahara, the dryness and 
aridity of Avhich are hardly disturbed by a few oases covered with 
verdure and by the lovely valley of the Nile. It then traverses the 
Red Sea, and loses itself in Asia, passing through Arabia, Persia, 
Bokhara and Mongolia." 

"What is the cause of these vast deserts ? " asked his lordship. 

" These tropical deserts," replied Adams, " are the regions of the 
earth in which the azure skies are rarely darkened by clouds. They 
lie between two parallel rings, beyond which rain-storms are frequent ; 
but here it hardly ever rains." 

" Why have you drawn my attention .especially to this belt of barren 
territory ? " 

'^Because," replied the engineer, immediately, "it is only here tiiat 
the force of the solar rays can be utilized. Here nature, more than 
anywhere else, is active, replete with power and force. The deserts 
of Sahara, of Arabia, and of Persia, thanks to the power of electricity, 
thanks to the transformation of heat into this tractable agent, will be 
sooner or later converted into great manufactories. The fiery rays of 
the sun, which to-day scorch everything, will be converted into elec- 
tricity. Populous and rich cities will arise in all directions. Water 
will circulate in abundance and give fertility to the soil. Monstrous 
cables will traverse these ancient deserts like endless aqueducts. They 
will sink into the sea and land on the coasts of old Europe, now be- 
come the ruler of the whole world. From these cables smaller cables 
will spread out in all directions, like the branches of an immense tree, 
leading to the cities, the villages, to every inhabited spot. And thus 
heat, light and motive power, used in any part of Europe, shall have 
had their source in the desert of Sahara, in the heart of Africa ! But 
what conflicts will convidse the earth before such results are attained ! 
The axis of civilization cannot be displaced thus without difficulty. 
The conflict has already begun ; it will only be emphasized in course 
• 2 



1< 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



of tin*. The lotions of the north have a vague intuition of the part 
M they are called upon to play in the land o the sun England 
Lnl« Iifdia, and extends her conquests to all parts of he earth. 
Fn.n«. ha., taken possession of Tunis, reaches out to benegal and es- 
tablishes hei^lf in Madagascar and Indo-China. All the nations feel 
that the time is near, and turn their eyes towards the^Equator. They 




divine that the future lies there. The ancient cradles of humanity 
will become centres of civilization. The nations of the north, at 
present doomed to unfruitful restlessness, will gain renewed vigor by 
this njiitact, and the standard of progress will rise gloriously over the 
n^ncrated world ! " 

Jack Adams was really glorious in his enthusiasm. He had become 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 19 

quite traualigured. As he stood before the map he seemed to rule tlie 
world, to command the elements. His gaze, lost in the infinite, saw 
the sublime spectacles conjured up by his words. 

James Badger looked at him with admiration. His dream was 
more grandly developed than before ; science completed admirably 
that which had been inspired by his imagination. 

The engineer was the first to break the silence ; 

'' Let us return to that which interests us, my lord," said he. " You 
see that Mesopotamia lies in the zone of the deserts of the old conti- 
nent. The sun, therefore, will not fail us. The Persian Gulf, with 
its tides and waves, is at our doors. That sea, however, cannot be of 
much use to us ; its tides are not very perceptible nor its waves very 
high. As to the winds, they are very regular in these regions. From 
May to September we shall have the southern monsoon ; during the 
other halt of the year tlie northern winds will not cease to blow, 
liivers and streams abound in Mesopotamia. Besides the Tigris and 
the Euphrates, which flow through its whole length, a large number 
of streams run down the mountains. On the north there is the Bat- 
man-Hoo, whose waters are as torrent-like as those of the Tigris at its 
rise. The Arzen-Soo, the Boutan-Soo, the Bitlis, the Greater Zab, the 
Xicsser Zab and the Diyalah are important tributaries of the Tigris. 
The Mourad, the Kara-Soo and the Tokma-Soo are tributaries of the 
Euphrates. We shall not want for waterfalls, for there are numerous 
cascades in the mountains. The Euphrates itself forms several im- 
portant cataracts. Here you see the forty passes where more than 
three hundred rapids succeed each other within a distance of about one 
hundred miles." 

" I see with pleasure," said Lord Badger, ^' that Mesopotamia is 
situated favorably for our projects. It seems that nature has accumu- 
lated here the most appropriate means for our assistance. Please set 
to work as promptly as possible, sir engineer. Make your calcula- 
tions ; don^t let us begin anything carelessly. 1 wish to rebuild Baby- 
lon ; I wish to raise this city from the dust and restore Mesopotamia 
to its ancient splendor. You have caused me to perceive the possi- 
bility of this resurrection by means of electricity. It remains for 
you to calculate our chances of success. The da}^ is still little ad- 
vanced. It has not struck twelve yet. Please to come down with me 
to the dining-room where a frugal repast awafts us. You can devote 
the evening to your calculations. Let us never wait until the morrow 



^ BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

before coming to a resolution— great works are quickly decided upon. 
Human thought loses its vigor in waiting." 

Jack Adams was alone in the library of his lordship. Heaps of 
pQiKT, cover^Kl with figures and algebraical calculations, were spread 
out liefore him. Long equations, bristling with x's md y's, all a ca- 
balistic language, curled around the end of his pen. He seemed like 
a magician evoking the spirits of earth and heaven. 

And was he not in truth a magician, this man bent over his work? 
Oh, surprising power of mind ! he was fathoming nature, that eternal 
enigma. 

A modern Titan, he combined and amalgamated the power of the 
mysterious element in his mathematical formulas. Under his skilful 
hands heat and light, movement and chemical force, were transformed 
at will into that unseizable fluid, electricity. Guided by the formulas 
of the illustrious physicists of our century — Ampere, Faraday, La- 
place, Joule, Ohm, Coulomb — he manipulated at pleasure the various 
manifestations of force. 

Woni out with fatigue, covered with perspiration, he still strlmg 
out figures on figures. Not a moment of rest had he yet granted 
himself to quiet his overstrained nerves. 

At six o'clock his lordship entered his study. Adams, lost to sight 
and sound, was not aware of his presence. Lord Badger did not dare 
to interrupt him ; he comprehended that the moment was decisive. 

A long quarter of an hour passed in complete silence. Night had 
gradually set in. Only a faint light now filtered through the mist 
that had risen from the Thames. At last the engineer stirred. He 
perceived his lordship, who was anxiously regarding him. 

" My lord," exclaimed he, rising and stepping hastily toward him, 
" my lord, I have but one more equation to resolve. It embodies all 
my investigations and will decide the fate of our work." 

" Very well ; go on," said Badger. " I await with impatience the 
results of your last calculations." 

It was now completely dark. His lordship rang the bell. A ser- 
vant brought in a lighted lamp. 

Ten minutes passed, a century for Badger. He seemed to hear the 
beatings of his heart, grown more rapid under the influence of his 
emotif>n. • 

Finally, pale, with dimmed eyes, Jack Adams said in a low voice : 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



21 



" My lord, your project must be abandoned, at least for the present. 
Science is as yet unable to furnish us with the means of realizing our 
dream. Our apparatus are too imperfect to provide us with the 
amount of caloric which we should need. I had hoj)ed too soon ; but 
the reality shows the impossibility of realizing our hopes at present.'' 





CHAPTER IV. 



A GREAT DISCOVERY. 



Two weeks have passed since the occurrence of the events which 
we have just related. Time has somewhat quieted the agitation of 
Lord Badger, struck so cruelly by the negative result to which the 
calculations of Jack Adams had led. The disillusionment was hard 
for a daring man, accustomed to overcome all obstacles. Badger had 
tritnl liard to fight against it at first and had gone over the calculations 
with Adams in due form. But he was compelled finally to submit to 
the evidence. 

His lordship had seen Captain Laycock again and had made known 
to him the vicissitudes through which his project had successively passed. 
Tht' idea of making use of electricity had appeared very original to 
I^ycock, and he deeply regretted the impossibility that had been en- 
i-ounteml. He said to Badger that there was still room for hope and 
that, ix-rhaps, a better means for accomplishing the work would 
be found. 
(22) 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 23 

Let us now transfer ourselves to Lord Badger's dwelling : we find 
him sitting in an arm-cliair, absently reading the Times. Not that the 
paper is lacking in interest : no, but his lordship's thoughts are else- 
where. Always under the influence of a fixed idea, he reads whole 
sentences and pages without attempting to understand the sense. Bad- 
ger's body is in London ; his mind is in Asia. 

But see how his eye suddenly brightens. He rises precipitately. 
He approaches the window in order to read more clearly a paragraph 
which has just met his eyes. 

This paragraph contained but these few lines : 

^' It is announced that a French electrician has discovered a new 
thermo-eledriG pile of great power. The invention is still a secret. It 
seems that by means of this pile it is possible to transform sixty hun- 
dredths of the heat of the solar rays into electricity." 

His lordship's agitation will be understood. If the discovery was 
true, it would modify the situation entirely : his project might at last 
be realized. Jack Adams must be informed at once, and his opinion 
obtained. 

He hastily wrote a line asking tlie engineer to come to him, rang for 
a servant and told him to take the letter to its address. 

Tiie servant was about to go, when his lordship was informed that 
Jack Adams wislied to see him. The engineer entered hurriedly, and 
hastened towards J3adger. 

" Victory ! " cried he. " Babylon will be reconstructed." 

His lordship and the engineer shook hands effusively. They were 
transported with joy. 

" So you have heard of the new discovery ? " said his lordsliip. 

" I have just received a letter about it from Paris," replied Adams. 
" My correspondent was himself present at the experiments of the in- 
ventor, a ^Ir. Cornille. He gives me details from which I may deter- 
mine with certainty the possibility of undertaking your project with 
success." 

" God be praised ! " said his lordship. "And now, please to explain 
to me exactly how this new discovery will enable us to realize our plans. 
I had just foreseen this result when reading the paragraph in the 
Times; and that is the reason I was about to send for you, when you 
came yourself." 

His lordship and the engineer both sat down. 

" Nothing can be easier, my lord," said the engineer. " I had sup- 



24 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

ix)st><l, in my calculatious, that the rays of the sun would serve to heat 
the water in* a boiler, according to the ingenious system of Mr. Mou- 
chot. But it appeared that, by this process, I could but transform six 
or seven Inmdredths of the solar heat into electricity. This quantity 
was much too small." 

" I understand the rest now," interrupted Badger. ^ " Cornille's dis- 
ooven' jx?rmits the conversion of sixty hundredths of solar heat into 
electricity. We are now in possession of a sufficient quantity of elec- 
tricity." 

" Exactly," replied the engineer. " I have, besides, made new cal- 
culations. They show that we can go ahead." 

Jack Adams opened his note-book and took from it a leaf covered 
with calculations. He explained fully to his lordship the changes 
which he had found it necessary to make in his operations, and how he 
had aiTived at the final result. 

" I read in the Times/^ said Badger, " that the engineer had kept the 
secret of his discovery." 

" That is true," replied Jack Adams, " but I do not think that that 
will prove an obstacle to you. It will be easy for you to buy the in- 
ventor's secret. Besides, when Cornille knows the motive from which 
you act, it is certain that he will not hesitate to join forces with you. 
The French, my lord, are as adventurous in spirit as the English ; and 
when some noble action is on foot the two nations can stretch out a 
friendly hand to each other." 

" Well, at all events," said Badger, " I shall write immediately to 
Cornill6, make my propositions to him, and ask him to come here. He 
will reply without delay; we shall soon know where we stand in -the 
matter." 

Ten days after the sending of Sir James Badger's letter, Cornille 
arrived in London. He was a tall man, with sharp and intelligent 
eyes, black hair, and a dark complexion. He was two or three years 
younger than Jack Adams. 

Cornill6 had accepted his lordship's propositions with enthusiasm. 
He loved the Orient by instinct, and would be delighted to go there to 
test his discovery. 

. As to s(^lling this discovery to Badger, he would not hear of such a 
thing. His ambition lay higher; he would be contented at present 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



25 




with gloiy if his lordship^s projects succeeded. Prosperity would come 
naturally afterwards. 

On such a basis, the mutual understanding between Badger and 
Cornill^ could not fail to be quickly established. As the co-operation 
of the other associates was already 
assured, it remained but to proceed 
to work. Accordingly, hardly two 
days after the young French en- 
gineer's arrival in London, we find 
him with his lordship, in the study, 
where are also our two old acquain- 
tances, Captain Laycock and the 
geologist Monaghan, to whom have 
been added two new persons, who 
are likewise to take part in the ex- 
pedition. The first, Flatnose, is a 
famous reporter on one of the largest papers in London. Stout and 
fat, his bulky body supported by two short legs, his face beaming per- 
petually with a broad smile, twinkling eyes, and swinging in his walk 

from one leg to the other, 
and, besides all this, no 
mean gourmand, our 
journalist has a vague and 
distant resemblance to 
Shakespeare's Falstaif. 
Let us hasten to add that 
this resemblance ceases at 
these physical peculiarities. 
Cheerful, jovial, a good 
companion, Flatnose is, 
besides, a brave and loyal 
soul, whom no one would 
think of making game 
of, and who is always ready to place his pen at the service of a 
good action. When you see him for the first time, you ask yourself 
how this fat person finds it possible to move about. Always red in 
the face, always mopping his brow with a handkerchief with large 
checks, he yet practices conscientiously his profession as a reporter, and 
returns each evening to the office with a note-book crammed with 




BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



various facts and anecdotes. The second is a Mr. Blacton, an eminent 
enginetT, at the head of one of the most important manufactories in 
LoiKlon. He is a man of about forty, grown old prematurely by in- 
oeaaant work. From bending over his desk during all of the day and 
part of the night, his back has become slightly rounded ; an excellent 
man, well informed, who has travelled far and observed much, serious 
and yet interesting in his conversation. 

Befoi-e a table in the centre of the room, on which are placed a 

pamphlet formed of sev- 
eral large-sized sheets of 
paper with broad margins^ 
joined together, and cov- 
ered ^vith close and legible 
writing, and a pen and 
ink-stand, stands Sir 
James Badger ; his habit- 
ually serious face is yet 
more grave than usual. 

The others, ranged 
around him in a semicir- 
cle, are motionless, as se- 
rious as his lordship. We 
feel that the moment is 
solemn for all. The grav- 
ity of the party has even 
extended to Flatnose. 

Badger took the pam- 
phlet from the table. 

" Gentlemen," he began^ 
in a slow voice, "we all 
know beforehand the ob- 
ject of this meeting ; we 
♦li« w^ ^. ^ ^ , all pursue the same end : 

mai,n!!ir;? ° ^^^'°" ^""^ °' Mesopotamia. We swear to re- 
nm.n faithful to our work, faithful unto death." 

I \U Muar it," repeated those who surrounded him. 
tncty. AVe sw^r to keep the seeret of our associate and friend. 




BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 27 

Charles Cornille, until the completion of our experiments. These once 
ended, each of us becomes free again." 

" We swear it ! " 

'^ Each one of us, furthermore, binds himself to execute faithfully 
and zealously the part of the programme which is assigned to him in 
the general work ! " 

^^ We pledge ourselves ! " 

" I shall now read to you for the last time our act of association, 
after which it will but remain for each of us to affix his signature to 
this document." 

Badger slowly read the terms of the pamphlet, stopping after each 
paragraph, in order to give time for any observations that might be 
made. He met only with signs of assent. When he had finished 
reading, he replaced the pamphlet on the table, and, dipping the pen 
into the ink, he was the first to sign, in his beautiful writing, firm and 
clear. The others followed his example, and came forward to sign in 
their turn. 

"And now, gentlemen," said his lordship, when all was finislied, 
" you know what each man's rOle is. Let us hasten, and let each one 
perform his task. Everything must be ready in six months." 

After these words, it but remained for them to take leave of his 
lordship. 

What resolutions had been taken ? What had been the role assigned 
to each of our characters? Why was it desired to keep the secret of 
Cornille's discovery ? 

So many questions, to wliich we shall reply successively. 

We have seen that an association had been formed for the execution 
of the projects suggested by Captain I^aycock. Jack Adams was in- 
trusted with the general superintendence of the work. Cornille, whose 
discovery had made the execution of the project possible, had for his 
special duty the perfecting of his thermo-solar pile and the construction 
of a gigantic one. 

As for Badger, he reserved for himself the supreme management of 
the work. It was he, moreover, who devoted a large part of his for- 
tune to tlie enterprise and who took charge of the diplomatic proceed- 
ings. 

It had been decided that the first years should be devoted to trials 
which were indispensable to avoid meeting with certain failure. It was 
necessary to test on a large scale Cornill^'s pile, which as yet was but 



^ BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

an attempt. The basis of the association might be broadened and an 
anj)ejil made to jniWic subscription when preliminary trials had demon- 
stratetl tlie iK)Ssibility of accomplishing the intended transformations. 

The i-eason will now be understood which led his lordship to exact 
socrecy in regard to Cornill^'s discovery. It was not an object in 
speculation, siu(« he proposed to make it public as ^on as his experi- 
ments in MesojK)tamia were ended. But, if the secret of Cornille's 
pile had been made known immediately, a swarm of inventors would 
have .seized upon a prize so easy to work out. New improvements 
would have been announced every day with much display, and would 
liave thrown disturbance into the work undertaken at Babylon. Now, 
to bring this work to a safe end, it was necessary to preserve all calm- 
ness and serenity of mind. 

Cornill^ was to set to work immediately to seek for the final im- 
provements of his marvellous discovery. Lord Badger placed all the 
necessary credit at his disposal. The experiments Avere to take place 
in a part of his lordship's garden, transformed into works. They were 
thus certain to be secure from inquisitive persons and from spies who 
would seek to detect the secret. 

Jack Adams was also to be in no want of work during six these months. 
He would have to procure or cause to be constructed the apparatus 
which were to be set up in Mesopotamia : turbines, dynamo-electric 
machines, condensators, cables, windmills, etc. It was necessary to 
think of everything, even to the smallest detail, for down there would 
\)Q found neither works to make up the wanting material, nor a trades- 
man to furnish a screw or a bolt that had been forgotten. What a 
number of materials to be collected in this short sjmce of time ! 

Jack Adams was furthermore charged with engaging the hands nec- 
essary for setting up the apparatus and working them afterward. 
What skill it would be necessary to display ! Workmen and superiors 
wojild have to show untiring zeal and courage to contend with a people 
who detest science. 

Badger's duty was relatively simpler. It was necessary to obtain the 
Sultan's authority to found a city and a colony on the banks of the Eu- 
phrates, on the site formerly occupied by Babylon. In order to hasten 
the conclusion of the treaty. Badger took the resolution of 2:oing to 
Constantinople himself; he thus placed himself directly in co^mmuni- 
cation with the influential people of whom he would stand in need. 

As to Captain Laycock, the first promoter of the project, he was ap- 



BABYLON ELECTRTFIFD. 29 

pointed to manage the ships intended for the transport of the travelers 
and the material. Two large steamships were to reach the Indian 
Ocean by the Suez Canal, and unload their cases in the port of Basso- 
rah, on the Shat-el-Arab. 

A third small steamer, with light draught, was to take Sir James 
Badger and his companions to the coasts of Syria. From there, it would 
in its turn reach the port of Bassorah and serve for transporting the 
machines on the shallow waters of the Tigris and the Euphrates. 

The place of the geologist, Monaghan, was necessary among the 
members of the expedition. His profound knowledge of the country 
which was to be traveled over and inhabited, would often be of great 
use. 

Blacton was to be intrusted with the general management of the 
electric motors. Having for some years made a specialty of tliis kind 
of motors, he had been introduced to Badger as an indispensable 
auxiliary. 

Flatnose's duties were fully indicated : he was to send to his paper, 
following the occurrence, notes, information, narratives, which would 
result in preventing pul)lic attention from being diverted from an en- 
terprise the preparations for which would without doubt excite curios- 
ity to a high degree, but which would not fail to be ,soon forgotten If 
the interest extated by its beginnings were not kept alive constantly. 
What enterprise to-day can hope to succeed without the co-operation 
of the press ? Besides, Flatnose formed a gay note in this grave and 
learned society^ a ray of line and joyous humor. 

Such were the personages and the rdles assigned to each, at the mo- 
ment when Badger caused the document to be signed which seemed like 
a preface to the resurrection of Babylon. 



k M'kiA^- 



'•% 






CHAPTER V. 

AT SEA. 

We are at the end of the month 
of August, a week before the day 
of dej)artui'e, set on the third of September. The preparations are com- 
pleted. 

Lord Badger has returned from Constantinople, having obtained all 
he desired. His task had been easy. The Turkish government, in 
want of money, had seen in his lordship's project a means of enriching 
itself. 

Lord Badger had placed himself in communication with several im- 
])()rtant ]x?rsonages, who had given him letters of recommendation to 
the chiefs of the countries where he wonld set up his apparatus. He 
was the holder of a firman which granted him the proprietorship of 
the site of ancient Babylon, and of the portions of territory where he 
would see fit to establish his works. Besides, the firman ordered the 
governors of the provinces to aid, by all possible means, in supplying 
tlie needs and establishing the security of the enterprise directed by 
(30) 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 31 

his lordship. The order was explicit, and no one would dare to 
ev^ade it. 

Cornille's researches had been perfectly successful. Important im- 
provements had been made in the thermo-electric pile. It had been 
possible to raise its original yield of sixty hundredths to seventy-five. 
The construction of a gigantic pile of fifty thousand elements had been 
completed. Jack Adams, on his part, had purchased or caused to be 
constructed all the necessary apparatus. 

Miss Nelly was to accompany her father. She wished to follow him 
in this daring expedition, to share fatigue and danger with him. She 
kept her governess with her, the spare and tall Miss Jenny Ross, who 
could not have separated herself from her young mistress. 

Captain Laycock had easily obtained leave of absence for three years. 

A very useful member had furthermore been added to the expedi- 
tion : it is tlie cook, Green. His modest office was neither the least 
important nor the easiest ; but, having already traveled much. Green 
knew the culinary secrets of all parts of the earth. They might, 
therefore, trust to him to keep them from dying of hunger. 

During this last week it was intended to put the apparatus on board 
of the two large transports, the Davy and the Faraday. The small 
steamer, the Electr'wity, was specially destined to carry the leaders of 
the expedition, with their luggage. 

The three ships were to sail at the same time. The Davy and the 
Faraday were to carry, besides the plant, the numerous hands engaged 
by Jack Adams. Sixty men, workmen and foremen, had been di- 
vided between the two ships. Their destination, as we have already 
said, was Bassorah, at the lower end of the Persian Gulf. 

As to the Fledricity, it was to land Badger and his daughter, with 
Miss Ross, as well as Cornill^, Monaghan, Blacton, Flatnose and Green 
at Iskanderoon, on the coast of Syria. Laycock and Jack Adams 
would rejoin the Davy and the Faraday at Suez, to go with these two 
ships to Bassorah. 

The third of September arrived at last. On that day the sun rose 
radiant, as if to salute the departing voyagers with his rays. Was he 
not king of the feast, this star which was to give a portion of his heat 
to resuscitate the empire of Semiramis ? His presence was thus a happy 
omen, and he seemed to say to all : " You can count on me." 

The Fledricity rocked softly under a light wind. Already under 
steam, a light cloud of smoke issued from its wide smoke-stack. Near 



32 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



by, two Other ships, of much greater tonnage, were completing their 
pn'i>arati()ns for departure. They were the Davy and the Faraday, 
which were to follow the Electricity at an interval of a few hours. 

A little before six Captain Laycock appeared on St. Katharine's 
D<K-k3, walking with a resolute step and whistling a martial air. His 
hands in the two pockets of his jacket, his cap perched jauntily on his 
head, his whiskers flying in the wind, he replied with a friendly good 
morning to the salute of the sailors. The brave seaman, who was 
wearied by the turbulent life of the cities, was happy to return again 
to the sea, which he had not seen for several months. 

He went on board of the ship, and inspected it minutely to its 
smallest details, wishing to assure himself with his own eyes that 
nothing was wanting and everything was in order. He finally took 
possession of his cabin, and awaited the arrival of the other travellers. 

The time of departure was fixed at eleven o'clock precisely, the time 
of high-tide. The docks of the Thames became more animated each 
moment. The ships, crowded against each other, were loading and 
unloading merchandise. Several of them were also waiting for the 
tide in order to gain the high seas. 

Jack Adams, Cornill^, Monaghan and Blacton arrived one after the 
other. Their luggage had, since the day before, been down in the hold 
or in their cabins. They walked about on the deck, talking or smok- 
ing cigars, while awaiting Badger's arrival. As to Green, he Avas al- 
ready at his cooking-stove since morning : luncheon was to be taken 
on board ship on the way down the Thames. 

His loixlship, his daughter, and the governess, arrived by carriage a 
few minutes before eleven. Giving his arm to Miss Nelly, Badger 
rapidly crossed the gangway and stepped on board of his ship. The 
passengers and sailors were drawn up on the deck to receive them. 
Miss Nelly was radiant. What a pleasure for her to make so long a 
voyage! Her traveling costume for tj^te long voyage, a dark blue 
dress of light material, soft felt hat with turned-up brim, and a veil of 
the same color as the dress, became her charmingly. Her cheeks, 
under the influence of her pleasure and excitement, were yet more rosy 
than usual ; her eyes sparkled more and had a more energetic expres- 
sion. A little too much given to dreaming, she now allowed herself to 
be swayed by external matters. Besides, she felt herself the queen in 
this select company ; she knew that she would be petted and spoiled 
by every one. And was she not indeed the fairy in whom all placed 



% 



BABYLON ELECTEIFIED. 33 

their trust, and who would make the hours passed on the sea seem less 
long ? The passengers felt moved when the young girl stepped on the 
ship, and Miss Nelly's look remained impressed on more than one 
heart. 

His lordship shook hands Avith all. 

"And Flatnose,'' said he, " why where is he ? It seems to me that 
our journalist fails us." 

In truth, Flatnose was absent. Meanwhile, the time advanced and 
the ship was to sail at eleven o'clock. The English never wait ; so 
much the worse for the late-comers. 

A clock in the neighborhood struck eleven. Badger gave the signal 
for departure. Suddenly, desperate calls were heard on the wharf, and 
a man appeared, running as quickly as his little legs would permit, red 
as a lobster, puffing like a locomotive. It was Flatnose, whose em- 
bonpoint had almost caused him to be left behind. 

London Bridge receded gradually in the distance. The Electi^idty 
passed proudly along the docks which line the left bank of the Thames, 
between two interminable lines of ships that had come from all quar- 
ters of the globe. The monuments of the capital were profiled against 
a grayish horizon. 

Greenwich and its handsome naval hospital were soon passed. 
They might say good-bye to London. The passengers descended to 
their cabins in order to put in place such articles as they had taken 
with them at the last moment. It was also necessary to make some 
modifications in their toilette : the maritime life was beginning and 
was to last several weeks. 

The ship's bell rang for luncheon and all went up on deck again, 
where the table was set. 

The ship had already made good progress. Woolwich had been 
passed, with its hulks, the glorious remains of the frigates taken from 
the French at the battle of Trafalgar. The Thames, with its low 
banks, flowed through flat meadows. The landscape was monotonous, 
and but seldom deserved to draw the attention. 

Toasts were proposed to the health of Lord Badger and Miss Nelly, 
and success drunk to the resurrection of Babylon. 

After luncheon, they walked about on the deck, smoking and con- 
versing. The ship passed Gravesend and its beautiful gardens, a place 
of resort for the inhabitants of the capital during the summer. It is 
at Gravesend that the Thames ends. From here on the Electricity 
3 



34 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

sailed on the open' sea. In the evening it rounded the headland of 
North Foreland and entered the channel. 

We shall not follow the ship in its rapid passage through the Chan- 
nel and the Atlantic Ocean. The weather remained fine, with a quiet 
breeze which did not strain the little vessel. They kept well away 
from land. There was none in sight but the cliffs df France and Eng- 
land and the granitic rocks of FinisteiTe when they rounded Brittany. 

Tiie time did not pass slowly for those on board, for each one con- 
trived to vary his studies and diversions. Miss Nelly played the 
piano; Laycock was also a musician, and played the violin. Jack 
Adams and Cornill6 assisted Miss Nelly with their voices. Cornill6 
especially, a great lover of the opera, knew the principal airs of 
French, Italian and German music. As to Flatnose, he made puns, 
composed charades, and told all sorts of anecdotes ; he was the wit 
of the party. 

Nor was earnest work neglected. They re-examined the plans ; they 
studied the maps of the country which they were going to visit ; they 
contrived new appliances of electricity. On the latter subject their 
imagination rose at times to extravagance. Did not jolly Flatnose 
proj)ose one day to construct electric men with which to people the 
new Babylon ! 

Thus the time passed on board. The Electricity was a fast vessel, 
and rapid progress was made. On the evening of the 7th they were 
already in sight of the coasts of Spain. They sailed close along the 
coast of Portugal and stopped at Gibraltar to take in coal. 

After that they left the Atlantic to enter the Mediterranean. The 
heat became much greater and the sky more blue. The proximity of 
the lands and the deserts of Africa made itself felt. 

On the 13th they had passed Sicily and the Isle of Malta. The 
ship was sailing calmly on the wide lake lying between Sicily, Greece 
and Tripoli, when the sky became suddenly overcast, and a violent 
wind set in to blow a gale. The furious sea broke over the deck of 
the ship. The latter lurched and righted again immediately, seeming 
to defy the elements risen against it. Its hull quivered, its masts 
shook ; but it was able to resist the fury of the waves. The passen- 
gers had taken refnge in their cabins. Miss Nelly, not yet sufficiently 
accustomed to the sea, was rather frightened ; she seemed each instant 
to feel the ship swallowed up by the sea. 

Captain Laycock, fortunately, did not lose his head. He had seen 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 35 

much more terrible storms than this one. Clinging to the railing of 
his bridge, he directed the working of the ship in a firm voice. Land 
was far oif — the Mediterranean deep ; there was little to fear. 

The storm lasted eight hours. At last it calmed down. The sea 
became smooth and blue as before. The passengers went on deck 
again. A good dinner by chef Green, washed down with champagne, 
and lif up by the rays of the setting sun, ended in dispelling the anxie- 
ties of the day. 

The conversation of course turned on the incidents of the storm. 
Tlie captain, from his calculations and the height of the sun, concluded 
that they could not be far from the coast of Africa — towards the prom- 
ontory of Barca. It was high time that the storm came to an end, or 
they would have risked being dashed to pieces on a rock. 

While they were taking tea by the light of the moon and of the 
stars which shine so brightly in these dark blue and clear nights of 
the oriental countries. Miss Nelly asked Cornill^ what the cause was 
of these sudden changes from calm weather to a furious storm, and 
from storm to a calm such as tliey were enjoying at tlie moment. The 
engineer had begun to explain to the young girl the mechanism of 
storms and the general theory of the winds, always produced by the 
sudden cooling of certain atmospheric layers, which acts as a great 
current of air, when he was suddenly interrupted in his demonstrations 
by a bright light which illumined the sky. They took it for lightning 
at the first moment, and thought another storm was coming up ; but it 
was a magnificent bolis. It crossed the firmament in all its length, 
proceeding slowly, and leaving myriads of sparks behind it. Then it 
disappeared at the horizon towards the East. 

" Father," cried Miss Nelly, " this globe of fire invites us to follow 
it ! It is a messenger which Heaven sends you to encourage you in 
your pixtject ! '' 

^' I accept your augury, my dear Nelly," replied Badger, embracing 
his daughter. ^^ We are certain of success if Heaven aids us." 

As if all the wonders of the earth had agreed on a rendezvous on 
that evening, the sea became phosphorescent. The ship seemed to 
sail on an ocean of fire. The wake which the prow left far behind it, 
the foam raised by the screw, the lightest ripples on the surface of the 
waves were as many jets of fire, whicli sparkled in the night. The 
passengers were all collected on the deck, admiring this magnificent 
spectacle. 



^ BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

36 

Towarfs midnight the phosphorescence suddenly ceased and every 
one 80UKht his cabin, profoundly impressed by the varied events of 
^ the day. 

The sky re- 
mained clear dur- 
ing the rest of the 
passage. They 
were, besides, ap- 
proaching the first 
port where they 
were to touch, and 
the passengers were 
already making 
their preparations 
for disembarking. 

One evening the 
island of Cyprus 
was at last sig- 
naled. In the dis- 
tance w^as descried 
the summit of 
Mount Troodos, 
which forms part 
of the range of 
Olympus. Then, 
little by little, the 
eye discerned the 
summits of the 
Adelphi, the peaks 
of the Macheras, 
and finally the 
headland of the 
Stavrovuni. This 
promontory, espe- 
cially, struck the 
eye by its spiry 
form. The ship sailed along the foot of the mountain, and by the 
aid of glasses one could see the temple of the Benedictines, constructed 




BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 37 

at its summit. The story runs that in the caverns of this mountain 
the Knight Tannhauser is awaiting the sound of the last trumpet. 

The sun had already set when the Electncity let go her anchor before 
the port of Larnaca, the ancient Citium of the Greeks. 

The night was too far advanced to think of landing, for it is im- 
possible for ships of any considerable tonnage to approach the shore. 
It was therefore necessary to pass one more night on board, notwith- 
standing the great pleasure every one would have felt in reaching 
terra jirmaj after passing so long a space of time on the sea. 

Next morning the transshipment of the travelers began at daybreak. 
Boats rowed by natives came to receive the passengers, and brought 
them to land. The Electricity was left in charge of the mate. Cap- 
tain Laycock, who knew Cyprus, having been there several times, 
wished to serve as a guide for Badger and his companions. 

Since the treaty of 1878 with Turkey the island of Cyprus is gov- 
erned by England. After sailing for fifteen days, they w^re once 
more on English soil. It had been decided to devote a day to the 
inspection of Larnaca. This is a double city. The Marina is a new 
quarter, built on the sea-coast. As to the city proper, it is built at 
about two-thirds of a mile from the shore, in the midst of a large, 
uncultivated plain, where nothing meets the eye but here and there a 
few palms with long trunks swaying in the breeze. 

What a contrast ! To pass abruptly from London to Larnaca — 
from the mists of the Thames to the azure skies of Asia ! At sea, the 
transition to the difference in the clearness of the sky had been clearly 
perceived ; but the contrast became apparent in all its grandeur when 
they found themselves on land again. 

The city is in reality but a poor village. The houses are low, with 
flat roofs and walls half crumbled down. Yet this singular medley 
Avas pleasant to the eyes and to the imagination. The intense light 
tinged the walls with reflections unknown in the dull climates of the 
north of Europe. All objects stood out strongly and in strange relief 
against the dark blue sky. 

And what originality in the varied costumes of the passers-by ! 
Greeks, Turks, Armenians, Jews, Arabs — all the nations of the Orient 
elbowed each other in the streets, forming the most curious contrasts 
of color by this intermixture. At the extremity of the city, our 
travelers climbed a slight elevation, from where the view extended 
far out to the sea and to the mountains of Cyprus. Sky, earth and 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



sea s|)arkled under the burning rays of a fiery sun. The eye was 
dazzled l)v a light to which it was not yet accustomed. That won- 
tlerfid charm which all feel who see the Orient for the first time was 
now felt by Miss Nelly. It was a new world into which she had 
entered. It seemed to her like a beautiful dream. 

The mountain chains which run through the wkole length of the 
island bounded the horizon towards the north and east. Their jagged 
gunmiits, their sharp peaks, their undulating plateaus — all the details 
of their form were revealed to the eye with astonishing distinctness. 
The eye, under the intense light of these regions, must needs be edu- 
cated anew. Distances are no longer determined with certainty ; dis- 
tant objects seem to draw nearer, for the colors are no longer softened 
successively by the haze. 

Miss Nelly remained a long time leaning on the side of a terrace 
constructed at the top of this hill. She could not tear herself away 
from her contemplation. Yet time flew rapidly, and it became neces- 
sary to descend again to Larnaca. In the evening every one was once 
more settled in his cabin, and the Electricity was making ready to go 
to sea again the next morning. 





CHAPTER VI. 

ON THE BANKS OF THE ORONTES. 

The Electricity was to land its 
passcngcrfs at iskaiidcroon, a small city situated on the Syrian coast, 
opposite to the island of Cyprus. The passage from Cyprus to Iskan- 
deroon is not long ; a mere arm of the sea separates the island from 
the Asiatic continent. The wind was favorable, the sea hardly ruffled. 
The disembarcation was effected without any difficulty. 

Iskanderoon is situated at the end of the gulf of the same name. 
It was called Akxandretta before the Arabian conquest. Built on 
marshy ground, it is very unhealthy during the hot season. Therefore, 
the rich families are aiccustomed to leave it during the summer and to 
resort to Beilan, on the first escarpments of the Amanus. 

Only the poorest inhabitants were left in the city. Their sickly 
aspect, especially that of the women and children, was not designed 
to delight the eyes of the travelers. 

From Iskanderoon, the expedition was to be divided into two bodies, 
which would reunite, each by different routes, at the place of meeting. 
One of these two parties, commanded by Captarin Lay cock, and of 
which Jack Adams was also a member, would continue by the mari- 
time route. It would sail along the coast of Syria, cross the Red Sea, 
and go up the Persian Gulf to the mouth of the Eu})hrates, which the 
Electricity would ascend to Babylon. Lord Badger, his daughter, the 

(39) 



40 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

governess, Cornill6, Moiiaghan, Blactoii, and Flatnose would form the 
second group, which would follow the land-route and travel by caravan. 

As the caravan is even at the present time almost the only mode of 
transport by huid wliich exists in Asia, as well for persons as for mer- 
cliandisc, we shall say a few words about that manner of traveling, 
tlie organization of which has varied but little since/he time when the 
Midianite merchants, coming from Gilead, crossed the desert to bring 
balm and myrrh to Egypt, and, between times, bought young boys, 
whom they sold again as slaves. 

The only difference is that to-day, when you wish to go by caravan^ 
you apply to a commercial man of a new class, which probably did Dot 
exist in the time of Jacob, and from whom you hire as many horses 
and mules as are necessary. 

This contractor, whom we might compare to our transport and 
traffic companies, is sometimes the owner of several hundred animals. 
With his chat'vadars (grooms), he accompanies the caravan, or is repre- 
sented by a deputy, and holds the responsibility for anything that may 
occur. 

The charvadars form a class of men of a certain importance. Tliey 
represent our railroads and our steamships. From the shores of the 
Caspian Sea to those of the Persian Gulf, from the frontiers of India 
to those of China, travelers and merchandise pass under their care. 
One can but praise their honesty. They lead the nuiles, pack and 
unpack them. They occupy themselves in mending saddles, bags and 
other accessories. They keep pace with the animals in all weather, 
and often outstrip them. At night they watch by turns over the 
travelers or the goods. 

Lord Badger was directed by the English resident to one of the 
most favorably known members of this useful corporation, and never 
was a caravan formed under better conditions. Gentle horses for the 
ladies, hacks for the men, every animal was the subject of a thorough 
examination, and was subjected to a preliminary trial. 

The military escort was furnished by the authorities of the country, 
who lK)wed dutifully to the official orders of the Sultan. On the route 
which they were to follow to the Euphrates one is not always safe from 
attacks. But, thanks to the Turkish soldiers and to the excellent arms 
which had been provided in abundance, there was nothing to fear. 

Several days were spent in .making preparations for departure. In 
the Orient, the traveler who leaves the cities inhabited by Europeans 



^ 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 41 

must carry everything with him. He takes his meals in the open air 
and sleeps mostly under his tent. The least neglect, the least omis- 
sion might prove prejudicial. It is true that a sufficient number of 
caravansaries are met with on the routes frequented by the caravans. 
They are the inns of the country. But the only thing that is always 
to be found ready here — and it is certainly not to be despised — i& 
excellent coffee, served burning hot. Beasts and baggage may be 
housed here, and a momentary shelter sought. As to the rooms, they 
consist in small, square alcoves, which the travelers must themselves 
furnish with all necessary articles, for they are devoid of everything. 
Some of these caravansaries have a large court-yard, with basin and 
fountain, shaded by orange and lemon trees ; but most of them are 
very filthy, and it is preferable to camp in the open air. 

The last days of September had arrived. The intense heat of sum- 
mer had given place to the milder temperature of the fair autumn 
days. The journey was made without great fatigue during the day. 
Tlie nights only are really to be feared in the Orient ; for, by reason 
of the amount of moisture absorbed during the day by the solar rays, 
and converted afterward into heavy dew, the nights are always cool 
and damp, even at the hottest season of the year. 

In order to guard against these sudden alternations of cold and heat, 
our travelers provided themselves plentifully with cloaks, Arabian 
burnoos and woollen stuffs of the countiy. 

While the caravan is making its final preparations for the journey, 
Ave must say a few words in regard to the motive that had determined 
Lord Badger and his companions to reach the Euphrates by taking 
this part of the coast of Asia Minor as their starting-point. 

Several engineers had conceived the project of constructing a railway 
which should place the Mediterranean and the Euphrates in communi- 
cation. Xow, it is exactly in the neighborhood of Iskanderoon that it 
was proposed to place the terminus of the projected railroad. The 
Euphrates, in fact, after emerging from the mountains of Armenia, 
turns suddenly towards the west ; then, describing another turn, to- 
wards the south, it flows for a short time parallel to the Mediterranean 
Sea, from which it is separated by only about ninety-five miles, oppo- 
site Iskanderoon. 

It was Badger's intention to take up these projects on his own 
account. That is why he Avas desirous of visiting the region in com- 
pany with Monaghan, in order to see for himself what was the con- 



^ BABYLON ELECTKIFIED. 

figuration of the ground, what advantages or obstacles it might oifer, 
and what work would have to be performed. Finally, it was also to 
be dcterniiiie<l what place on the coast should be the starting-point of 

the new line. 

It was easv to decide, on the first examination, that Iskanderoon 
would make an excellent terminus. Drainage w^qrks would be exe- 
cut«l to render it inhabitable at all seasons. In spite of the violent 
storms which at times descend from the mountain and rush down 
into the vallev, its harbor is yet the safest on the whole coast. The 
necessary enlargements and improvements would be made there. 
Starting from there, the railroad would pass through the high plateaus 
of the Amanus which separate the sea from the Euphrates, then run 
along the river, cross at Babylon, and reach the shores of the Persian 
Gulf. It would thus place England and the Indies in rapid commu- 
nication. In truth, considerable skilful labor would be necessary to 
pierce tunnels through the mountains and construct viaducts across the 
valleys ; but these difficulties do not dismay engineers, English, French 
or American. 

On the day before their departure, the travelers had visited one of 
the ravines over which the railway in question would have to be built. 
It was called the Devil's Ravine. Lying deep among the rocks, which 
formed as it were a gigantic notch in the bed of the earth, it owed its 
origin to one of the earthquakes so frequent in these latitudes. A tor- 
rent ran through the bowels of the earth five hundred feet below the 
spot where the excursionists were standing. 

During this walk they were able to ascertain how far the processes 
of native agriculture are behind our own. In tilling their fields, the 
husbandmen make use of the primitive plough — used also by the 
Arabs of Algeria — which consists only of a long wooden beam pro- 
vided with a share, also of wood, and which hardly penetrates the 
8ui)erficial layer of the soil. 

The vegetation was, moreover, very different from that of Western 
Euroi)e. Miss Nelly saw for the first time the arborescent cotton-tree, 
the cultivation of which extended over wide spaces, and admired its 
flowers of a saffron yellow, marbled witli bright red. Monaghan 
picked some specimens of the most curious plants : the Allium Nea- 
poiitanum, a superb Hliacie, with white flowers ; the Daphne sericeay 
and, especially, the A^nim dioscondis, an admirable flower, if it only 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



43 



did not exhale a tainted odor. Miss Nelly's dress was torn on the 
way by the thorns of a small shrub. 

" That is the Ziziphus spina cki'istl/' replied the geologist to the 
young girl, who asked its name. " It is called so, I suppose, in re- 
membrance of Christ's crown of thorns." 

The next morning at sunrise, after having taken leave of the cap- 




tain and of Jack 

Adams, and having appointed to meet 
them at Babylon, the travelers forming part of the ^^ 

caravan left Iskanderoon, marching along the sea-coast. The weather 
was fine, and the little party proceeded quickly and in good order. 
The following arrangements had been adopted and were to be con- 
tinued to the end : 

First came the mules, with their drivers and the baggage ; tents, 
mattresses, blankets, kitchen utensils, victuals, wood. This little troop 
was escorted by half a score of Turkish soldiers, in company with 
whom was Green, the cook. It preceded the main body of the cara- 
van, so that, on arriving at the places where a halt was to be made, 
everything was found prepared for the meal or for the night's rest. 

Badger, his daughter, the governess, Cornille, Monaghan, Blacton, 



44 BABYLON ELECTEIFIED. 

Flatnose, a guide, and an interpreter formed a group at the head of 
the rest of the caravan. A wagon, or, rather, a very large cart, 
Tahkt'i-Bahicnny followed them, carrying the minor supplies and the 
instnmients which miglit be needed on the march. Tahkt-i-Rahwcm 
may be translated literally by traveling bed. It is a long litter, flat- 
bottomed, with glass panels and shafts between wkich one or more 
mules are harnessed. The top is closed. The interior is lined with 
matti-esses and cushions. It holds two persons comfortably. This 
vehicle, peculiar to the country, was to serve as a means of transport 
for Miss Ross and for the other travelers when they should be 
fatigued from having remained too long on horseback. Miss Nelly 
rarely used it ; but Flatnose and Miss Ross were oftener in the wagon 
than in the saddle. Thanks to this circumstance, and probably alsa 
to the law of contrasts, a delightful intimacy was soon established be- 
tween the tall and lean governess and the stout and fat journalist. 

At some distance behind Badger and his companions the rest of 
the Turkish escort brought up the rear. In case of attack our travel- 
ers would be quickly aided by the soldiers. Besides they were suffi- 
ciently numerous and sufficiently well armed to sustain a first bnset 
and give the troop time to rally. 

Thanks to their excellent animals, the travelers advanced rapidly. 
A halt was made seveml times during the day. In the morning they 
were up at sunrise. Badger and Cornill^, who were skilful hunters, 
beat the bushes and were able to bring down some pieces of game. 
The small hares of Syria were not to be disdained, especially when 
they had passed through the skilful hands of chef Green. 

Monaghan frequently separated from the rest of the party in order 
to study the nature of the ground and rocks. AVhile applying him- 
self to his favorite researches it occurred also that he discovered some 
interesting si:)ecimens of animals peculiar to the country. Thus, one 
day, while exploring a small elevation, he had the fortune to capture 
alive a species of rat which looks very much like a mole. This ani- 
mal has a thick body, fine and silky hair and large head, with a neck 
so little developed that one might think it were totally wanting. Add 
to this very small ears and eyes almost completely sunk into the skin. 

That day everybody brought in some specimens of the fauna of the 
country as trophies. Miss Nelly picked up several small turtles that 
were sleeping by the side of a pool, and Flatnose had a trial of speed 
with a big African turtle which fled into the grass. It was our stout 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 45 

journalist who came victorious out of the race and who brought back 
the animal triumphantly in his arms. 

On the evening of the first day the caravan arrived at the ruins of 
Seleucia, or rather at the site which is believed to have been that of 
this ancient city. The place of the port is to-day covered by the 
sands. Only a few shapeless vestiges of the ancient city remain. The 
tents had been raised on the sea-shore. The moon, then in its full, 
cast silvery reflections on the blue waves. The coasts of Syria were 
outlined to the farthest horizon, with their protuding capes and their 
mountainous edge. It was difficult to imagine a spot better chosen 
for a first night of camping out. Later on, no doubt, such agreeable 
ones would not always be found. 

On the following day they continued to follow the sea-coast. The 
road bordered upon a sandy declivity which descended to the level of 
the waters. At times, however, the uniformity of the plain was 
broken by a detached branch of the Amanus range, which dwindled 
away in soft undulations beneath the waves or ended abruptly, jutting 
out above them. Then there was a rise of several yards and the hori- 
zon widened. The Mediterranean sparkled in the distance, and the 
eye was dazzled by the briglit light which the waves reflected in all 
directions. In the evening they reached the mouth of the Nahr-el- 
Aasy, which is none other than the ancient Orontes. 

The camp was laid near the ruins of an old abandoned khan, out- 
side of the walls of the little village of Suediah, which lies on the 
very banks of the river and serves as a port for the city of Antioch, 
formerly so important. 

The caravan was to ascend the course of the Orontes quite far in- 
land. Its valley might be an excellent road for the railway. The 
Orontes flows at first from south to north, following the foot of the 
Amanus. Then, finding a ravine to give it passage, it runs through 
narrow defiles and empties into the sea. 

From Suediah to Antioch the banks of the Orontes are charming. 
The landscape changes at each turn of the valley. Fruit-trees cover 
the slopes with their foliage. White houses, with flat roofs, disappear 
almost completely amidst the clumps of verdure. Bare rocks jut out 
over the river now and then, overhanging it at a great height. The 
sky, the trees, the earth, the waters, form an admirable whole. 

Yet these favored regions have been witnesses of the most frightful 
calamities. At this meeting-point of two worlds the nations of 



^ BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

Europe and of Asia have clashed in fearful conflict. The innumer- 
able armies of the barbarian conquerors— from those of Darius and 
Xerxes to the hordes of Tamerlane and of Jengis Khan— have over- 
nui and plundered them, and thousands of men have left their 
bones there. 

And as if man had not done enough, nature herself seems to have 
made it Iier task to destroy her own works. Incessantly undermined 
bv subterranean fires, the ground has often opened in terrible earth- 
quakes, which have overthrown cities and destroyed entire popu- 
lations. 

What does it signify as to the eternal renewal of universal life ? 
Wherever the earth has drunk human blood in abundance grass grows 
more thickly, the crops are more plentiful. The lava and ashes of 
the volcanos, which have devastated entire territories, form, in time, 
soil of an incomparable fertility, covered with flowers and fruits. 

Why wonder that, following the example of nature, man also for- 
gets, and, without a thought of the sudden and terrible awakening, 
rebuilds his dwellings on this same soil which has swallowed up 
several of the generations which have preceded him ? 

At about ten o'clock in the morning the caravan reached the little 
Turkish city of Antakia, formerly the large and wealthy city of An- 
tioch, the most important of Koman Asia. The ancient capital of 
Syria rises in the midst of a valley, closed in by mountains and 
washed by the Orontes, which, before reaching the city, divides into 
several branches, the waters of which turn a large number of mills 
and irrigate beautiful gardens. 

Like most of the once famous cities of Asia Minor, Antioch has 
passed through many and varied vicissitudes. The time of its greatest 
prosperity corresjionds to the beginning of the Christian era. 

Founded by Seleucus Nicator and peopled first by a colony of 
Athenians inhabiting the neighboring city of Antigonia, it grew 
rapidly and became the capital of Syria and the residence of the 
Seleucidffi, (he queen of the Orient 

Cliristianity was brought here a few years after the death of its 
founder by his immediate disciples. St. Paul lived here over a year, 
and St. Peter was its first bishop. The Asiatic customs of its inhab- 
itants, their passion for luxury, brilliant festivals and pompous specta- 
cles, the refined and elegant habits of its wealthy merchants, seemed to 
make it an unpropitious centre for the development of the new doctrine. 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 47 

Yet it is at Antioch that the followers of the Gospel multiplied most 
rapidly and that they began to be designated by the name of Christians. 
To its administrative and commercial importance was then added a 
great religious notoriety, for it soon became a most celebrated metropo- 
lis in the Christian world : ten councils were held here from 252 to 
380, and in the sixth century it became the seat of a patriarchate which 
extended over Syria, Cilicia, and Mesopotamia. 

In the year 115 a terrible earthquake destroyed a part of the city 
and carried off 100,000 of its inhabitants. An idea can thus be formed 
as to what its entire population was at the time. Yet it had recovered 
again from its disasters, notably under the reign of the Emperor Jus- 
tinian. A second earthquake, Avhich took place in 583, began the 
period of its decadence, accelerated by the conquest of the Saracens, 
who took possession of it, together with all of Syria, in 635. United 
in the tenth century to the empire of the East, then recovered by the 
Saracens, it was taken from them in 1098 by the Crusaders, com- 
manded by Bohemond I., who became prince of Antioch. 

Under the Latin empire of Constantinople it regained a certain im- 
portance, as ephemeral as the cause which had produced it. Neverthe- 
less the little Christian principality of Antioch existed until 1268, and 
Baldwin VII. was its last prince. Since then it belonged to the Mus- 
sulmans, under whom its decadence was rapid and complete. The 
earthquakes of 1822 and 1872 have subjected it to great damage. To- 
day it numbers but 15,000 inhabitants. 

Our travelers passed through the city without making a stop there. 
Its fortifications, furnished with 130 towers, its strong citadel raised by 
the Crusaders, are now but walls cracked by the upheavals of the 
ground. They were anxious to get back to the banks of the Orontes 
and to reach Hamali. 

After leaving Antioch the road becomes rough, the Orontes flows in 
deep gorges difficult of access. They were at times obliged to leave 
the valley and ascend by steep foot-paths. The horses still managed 
it ; but the litter threatened each moment to be dashed to pieces. 

On emerging from the mountain, swamps were met with. The 
country, pretty well populated until then, became almost deserted. 
The vegetation itself suffered from the tainted air which renders the 
country uninhabitable. At last Hamah was reached, the ancient 
Epiphania, situated at the bottom of a deep and narrow valley, on an 



48 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

alluvial bed brought in by the waters of the Orontes. Hamah might 
be one of the stations of the future railway, which would reach this 
city by passing the range of the Amanus without rising above an alti- 
tude of 1,600 feet, and then proceed towards the Euphrates across 
the desert. The ladies felt somewhat fatigued by a 
..^-, .-.. niode of traveling to Avhich tkey were not yet 

- ' accustomed. After some consultation it was 

decided that Monaghan and Cornille 
should go alone as far as the toAvn of 
Homs, which was about twenty-five 
miles above Hamah ; and also 
that the rest of the caravan 
=5^,_ should wait for these 

two gentlemen in 
the latter 




place, where every- 
thing could be found that 
was necessary for recovering ^., 

from their previous fatigues : fresh 
water, exquisite fruits, vegetables in 
abundance, would soon have recruited the 
strength of the travelers. <^-^>7^^ 

Homs, the ancient Emesa, is of considerable importance from a com- 
mercial point of view. More than 10,000 camels pass through it after 
the autumn harvests. It is not only a great market, it is also the cen- 
tre of a very prosperous industry. It possesses manufactories for silk 
fi<rured with gold, cotton goods and coarser stuifs. Much madder is 
raised in the vicinity. 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 49 

A short stream, the Nahr-el-Kebir, has made a passage for itself 
through the range of the Amaniis ; its valley might be used for a rail- 
way that would have its starting-point at Tripoli in Syria on the Medi- 
terranean, and reach the Euphrates by the plain. 

Thus, three natural roads were open to the railway destined to join 
the Euphrates to the Mediterranean. At present, it was only a ques- 
tion of making surveys ; later, when all the documents had been col- 
lected, a definite decision would be jointly made. 

"While Cornille and Monaghan devoted themselves to these investi- 
gations, the rest of the caravan took advantage of the stoppage by in- 
specting Hamah and its surroundings. 

The stay at Hamah is delightful. Its gardens are the most beauti- 
ful to be found in Syria, which possesses such beautiful ones. Lord 
Badger had rented one of these gardens, situated outside of the city, 
and had there established his camp. 

The high plateaux which surround the city produce corn and wheat 
in abundance. To raise tlie water necessary for cultivation up to these 
high plains, use has been made, following the immemorial usage of the 
East, of gigantic noricis or water-wheels placed all along the bluifs, 
and which impart an unusual movement to that part of the course of 
the O routes. 

The culture of the cotton-tree has given birth to a prosperous indus- 
try in this country ; more than 3,000 weavers manufacture common 
stuffs here for the people of the land. 

The manner of weaving is as primitive as the manner of tilling, and 
the loom, Avhich might figure in the retrospective museum beside the 
plough, probably dates back to the same antiquity. 

In one of her walks. Miss Nelly had an opportunity of seeing one 
in full operation. On the floor of a little hut, too low to admit of an 
upright position, and lighted only by the opening serving as a door, a 
young woman, between sixteen and eighteen years of age, of the purest 
Arabian type, whose costume recalled that of Horace Yernet's Rebecca 
at the Fountain, was seated in Oriental fashion, that is to say squatting 
on the ground, before a rough wooden frame on which were stretched 
the threads destined to form the warp of the cloth. With her slender 
fingers, which performed the functions of the shuttle, the weaver passed 
the thread which was to form the weft alternately over and under the 
4 



50 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

threads of the warp. She showed a surprising dexterity in this deli- 
cate operation. While continuing her work, she inclined her fine head, 
from which a rich braid of jet black hair fell down on her uncovered 
breast, now to the right, now to the left of the wooden fi-ame, and 
looked curiously at the young Englishwoman Avilh her beautiful child- 
like eyes, roguish and soft, while a smile of naive ftstonishment parted 
her red lips and showed her shining teeth. 

These walks, giving rest from the long rides on horseback, this 
knowledge of the familiar manners and customs of a country which 
is acquired only by living there and seeing its inhabitants close by ; 
these scenes of a rural beauty which the traveler accustomed to follow 
standard routes observes so rarely, served to occupy the six days which 
passed away, until the return of the explorers Monaghan and Cornill^, 
in an agreeable manner. Nevertheless, they were happy to be united 
once more, and the interrupted voyage was joyfully resumed. 

On leaving Hamah, the valley of the Orontes was abandoned in 
order to reach Aleppo by ascending towards the north-east. 

The road followed by the caravan passed over slightly undulating 
plateaux, varying in height from 1100 to 1300 feet. Vegetation be- 
came scarce. No trees. Now and then some dwarfed and stunted 
shnibs. They were beginning to enter the immense belt of deserts 
wliich extends over vast spaces in Arabia and terminates in a rounded 
point in that part of Asia Minor through which the travelers were 
then passing. 

This vast plain, stretching farther than the eye can reach, is not 
level and uniform as one might at first suppose it to be. As you ad- 
vance, you perceive the ground, now slightly depressed, now slightly 
swelling, is, on the contrary, very uneven. At a distance this uneven- 
ness is not visible to the eye, which sees but an ocean of sands, 
streaked, like the surface of w^aters in calm weather, with a multitude 
of httle longitudinal striae. 

The sea of sand is no more sheltered from storms than the other 
sea. The winds which come from the south blow here with extreme 
violence, for no serious obstacle is opposed to their action, and, in sev- 
eral places, tliey have heaped up banks of gravel, downs, or ridges. 

Here and there a rock rises above the ground, on the surface of 
which there appear at great intervals large brown spots which one 
cainiot help comparing to islands : these are the oases. 

The analogy between the desert and the sea is, moreover, so striking. 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 51 

that it obtrudes itself upon the most uncultivated natures. There is 
the same impression of grandeur and infinity ; but that given by the 
desert, when seen for the first time, is perhaps still more startling. 

It was about nine 
o'clock in the morn- 
ing. The heat began 
to whiten the sky. 
They were approach- 
ing the oasis of 
Marrah, where they 
were to stop and rest 
for a few hours. The 
horses, conscious of 
the proximity of the 
stopping-place, broke 
into a trot. 

By degrees the 
oasis grew wider. 
Palm-trees showed 
their dark green tops 
strongly outlined 
against the pale sky. 
Other trees soon ap- 
peared : the arbutus, 
the orange, the lemon, 
the mimosa, mingled 
their varied foliac^e. 
The whole vegetation 
became more luxu- 
rious as they ad- 
vanced. 

When, after a long 
journey through the 
dull and silent desert, 

you behold this human nest, full of verdure and freshness, emerging 
suddenly from the dry sands, it is difficult not to believe yourself the 
victim of an illusion. How, indeed, could one imagine that the two 
extremes of the barest sterility and the most exuberant fertility could 




'/w^iM^^^ 












.^--t 



V/A 



52 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

be united and exist, so to speak, side by side, without losing any of 
their absohittMiess ? 

Tiiere was, however, no deception ; it was, indeed, a reality which 
they had before them. The white houses of the Ksour, the slender 
spire of the mosque, the square mass of the Casbah, stood out among 
gardens separated by hedges of cactus and watere<f by innumerable 
rivulets babbUng in the thick grass. The sweet smell of the coffee- 
trees in bloom, the more penetrating odor of the daturas and the jas- 
mines produced an almost intoxicating perfume. By tacit agreement, 
the travelers brought their horses to a walk in order to enjoy longer 
the magical picture which was being unfolded before their eyes. 

Since their departure from Hamah, that morning, they experienced 
the sensation wliich all have felt w^ho^-without even going as far as 
Syria — have penetrated into the Algerian Sahara by the pass of El- 
Kantara ; that of a new Orient, unknown until then, the Orient of 
the Bible and of the Song of Songs. All that has been previously 
seen is beautiful without doubt, splendid, marvelous, but it offers 
nothing of which Southern Europe cannot give an idea. Suddenly, 
without anything to prepare you for this abrupt transition, at the turn 
of a valley, on emerging from a narrow passage between two rocks, 
in the twinkling of an eye the sky, the earth, the light, the relief of 
the objects, all has changed. The. vivid pictures of the Bible are then 
obtnided on the sense and the imagination, the idea of time vanishes, 
the sense of the present is lost, you feel yourself living three or four 
thousand yeai-s back among the fields of Gilead or in the gardens of 
Sharon. 

Every one was silent ; Miss Nelly seemed absorbed in the contem-^ 
plation of a vision that she feared would vanish. Cornill^, who rode 
at her side, and who also saw the Orient for the first time, was no 
doubt moved by the same feeling, for he said to her in a voice full of 
emotion : 

^^ Is this not beautiful, mademoiselle f " 

" Very beautiful," she replied, with a slight start, as if awaking 
from a dream. 

"And do you know of what I was thinking?" she added, smiling. 
" I was pitying my friends in London, who will never see what we 
see now." 

The sheikh of Marrah, informed of the arrival of his guests, came 
to meet them at the entrance to his casbah, and conducted Lord Bad- 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



53 



ger and his friends into the building, while his servants attended to 
the escort. 

The casbah was a square, heavy edifice, running around an interior 
court, like all Arabian ^ 

dwellings. Around ' "^^ .. 

the court extends a 
gallery on which the 
doors open that lead 
to the rooms. Under 
this gallery servants 
were grinding wheat 
and maize in a mill 
formed of two stones 
turning on each other. 

In the centre of the 
divan, that is to say, 
of the apartment 
which, m every East- 
ern housCj is used for 
receiving visitors, a 
table had been set, and 
a collation of cou- 
scous, dates, water- 
melons, milk and eggs 
was served. 

This divan was a 
large, square room, 
with a vaulted ceiling, 
situated on the 
ground-floor, about 
two stories high, look- 
ing to the north, and 
having windows only ^ 
on that side. Every- 
thing here was admira- 
bly arranged for pro- 
tecting one's self from 
the heat and enjoying the delights of the oriental farniente. 




The 



skeikh insisted on making his guests smoke chibouks and nargilehs, 



54 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



and our travelers appreciated highly the sweet and perfumed tobacco 
which was offered them. 

When the repast was ended and the coffee had been drunk, ^Miss 
Nelly and the governess repaired to that portion of the palace assigned 
to the women^ which they entered alone. However generous and 
cordial Oriental hospitality may be, the rule which fc^bids the women 

from appearing before men 
with unveiled faces has 
remained inflexible. The 
visitors were received by 
the wife of the sheikh, and 
by his daughters, Avho, 
both widows and childless, 
had come back to their 
father, waiting, no doubt, 
until it pleased him to 
choose new husbands for 
them. 

Notwithstanding h e r 
age — advanced, for a wo- 
man of her race — and the 
embonpoint that was begin- 
ning to seize upon her, my 
lady Mohammed Avas still 
handsome. Of noble birth, 
she possessed the graceful 
ease of a true grande damCy 
and consented with a 
charming simplicity to 
satisfy Miss Nelly's curiosi- 
ty on the subject of man- 
ners, customs, and usages. 
In taking leave of the female portion of the sheikh's family, and 
while replying as well as she could to the wishes and compliments 
which the Orientals always lavish profusely on their guests. Miss 
Nelly could not suppress a certain emotion. She expressed to the 
three ladies the hope of seeing them again should she pass through the 
desert a,t;-ain in returning to England. This wish was sincere. She 
had enjoyed for the first time the hospitality of a veritable Arabian 




BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 55 

home, and she had felt the charm of that reception, at once reserved 
and spontaneous, courteous and grave, so different from the common- 
placeness, the hanalite of European politeness, and which causes the trav- 
eler to forget that he is a stranger, even in a city through which he 
passes for the first time, even among people whom he will never see 
again. 

She rejoined her father and the rest of the party among plantations 
and delightful gardens, where a network of small canals of running 
water preserved a coolness during the greatest heat of the day. 

Lord Badger conversed with the sheikh and the principal pro- 
prietors of the oasis on all matters concerning cultivation and irrigation. 
AVhat he saw and heard gave him encouragement in pursuing his 
work. 

" You see what can be done with water," said he to his companions, 
^^ the desert is transformed into a garden. What can we not accom- 
plish when, thanks to our electrical machines, we shall draw it di- 
rectly from the Euphrates ? The whole of Mesopotamia will become 
one immense oasis." 

It was four o^clock, and they intended to reach Aleppo before night. 
They therefore resumed their journey again, thanking his Arabian 
lordship for his cordial hospitality. 

Soon after leaving Marrah the caravan met with a Dowar of 
nomad Arabs. A dowar is a village in which tents take the place of 
houses. When the tribe wishes to change its camp and transport it 
somewhere else, the skins and stuffs which form the tents are taken 
down, rolled around the stakes which had served to support them, and 
packed, together with the furniture, packages, and other luggage, on 
mules and other beasts of burden. The men ride on horseback. The 
women and children trav^el on camels. 

At the moment when the caravan passed near to the dowar, fire had 
been lit to prepare the evening meal, composed principally of rice and 
curdled milk. Children, quite naked, or covered simply with a 
burnous fastened around the neck, were playing around the tents, near 
whi(;h large dogs — somewhat similar to those of Kabylia — kept good 
watch, barking formidably and showing their menacing teeth. Women, 
frightfully tattooed and hardly covered by a dress of blue stuff, were 
picking up brushwood. Their appearance, it must be said, was any- 
thing but attractive, and it could be easily seen that, had some slight 



56 BABYLON ELECTEIFJED. 

service been demanded of them, their reception would not have been 
of tlie kindest. 

As to the men, some were gravely smoking their chibouks, quietly 
seated on the ground ; others, seated on horseback, were wheeling 
about at a little distance. Their immense hats, resembling some- 
what those of the French market-porters, their l^avy lances, from 
which hung wreaths of black feathers, showed them to be chiefs of 
large tents. The oxen and sheep, which these nomads take with 
them everywhere, were wandering about at random on the plains, 
searching for the thin blades of grass between the pebbles. 

The sun had disappeared below the horizon. Thousands of stars 
were shining with a soft light, as if through a diaphanous gauze. 
The phenomenon of diifused light was reproduced in another phase 
than during the day. The most distant objects were distinctly seen, 
but under forms which seemed movable, immaterial, intangible. 

After tmveling for two hours through this luminous obscurity, the 
gates of Aleppo were reached. For several days the travelers were 
going to live in European society and find again, momentarily, all the 
refinements of English comfort. 





CHAPTER VII. 



FATMA. 



Aleppo, or Haleb in Arabian, is situated on the borders of the des- 
ert, on the prolongation of the basin of the Orontes. A depression in 
the ground continues the valley of this river towards the east. Its 
main course waters the province of Aleppo ; the principal cities of this 
region are Horns and Hamah. 

Aleppo has shared the fate of i^ ntioch, from which city it is distant 
but a few miles, to the eastward ; the earthquake of 1833 destroyed 
half of the city and took oif a part of its population. But, more for- 
tunate than its neighbor, it has arisen from its ruins, and to-day num- 
bers 90,000 inhabitants. 

It possesses a fortress built on an eminence in the centre of the city. 

The caravans w^hich make the journey from Iskanderoon to the Eu- 
phrates sto]3 at Aleppo, which is situated at about an equal distance 
from the sea and from the river. It might perhaps be possible some 
day to connect the Mediterranean with the Euphrates by means of a 
canal, the line of which has been fully indicated by nature. 

Aleppo is not by far as finely situated as the other cities of Syria. 
It wants water ; the small river El-Koeik, which runs through it, fur- 
nishes sufficient for consumption by the inhabitants, but there is not 

(57) 



68 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



enough water to produce fertility. By industry the natives, and, es< 
pot-ially, the Europeans settled in the city, have succeeded in creating 
beautiful gaixlens adjoining the outskirts ; still, these gardens, though 
carefully cultivated, do not approach, in the beauty of the trees and the 
freshness of the grass, to those of Hamah, of Antioch, and of most of 
the Arabian villages. Aleppo is a kind of artificial oieis which cannot 
rival those in which nature has done everything. 

On the other hand, its streets are better paved, broader, and cleaner 
than in most Oriental cities, even the largest. The bazaar has nothing 
to distinguish it from other establishments of the same kind. Tliere 
are the same wooden stalls ranged on the sides of narrow, covered pas- 
sages, into which but little air and light penetrate. Only, this bazaar, 
where the products of three continents are heaped up and exchanged, 
is the most considerable one of the region. It alone makes it worth 
the while to stop several days at Aleppo. 

The Europeans are quite numerous at Aleppo. As in the whole 
Mussulman orient, the Latin element predominates. It is chiefly rep- 
resented by the Genoese and the Venetians, who form a sort of com- 
mercial aristocracy, holding the first rank. These rich merchants fbrm 
a distinct clan, which not every one can enter. Their houses — unpre- 
tentious on the exterior, but containing beautiful furniture, massive 
silver-plate, valuable bibelots, accumulated through several generations 
— form, in the very precincts of the bazaar, a sort of square which 
beai-s the name of Khan of the Franks. 

The English colony, much less numerous, also occupies a separate 
quarter, the handsome houses of which — in place of a luxury of an- 
cient date — contain all that is attractive in modern establishments. 

It was in one of these elegant dwellings that Lord Badger and his. 
fellow-travelers were to stay during their sojourn at Aleppo. 

!Monaghan desired to study in a particular manner the depression 
which unites Aleppo to the Orontes. It was therefore decided to 
move towards the east as far as Dana. 

A few hours after leaving Aleppo they passed through a heap of 
ruins of a singular aspect. At the bottom of a crevice in the ground, 
sheltered at the north and at the south by rugged walls of blackish 
rocks, were seen the ruins of an abandoned village. The walls of tiie 
houses— built of large blocks of basalt— were still standing. The 
roofing alone had been taken down, no doubt to serve for other 
purposes. 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



5^ 



'% 
DX 



While approaching to examine these ancient debris^ Monaghan 
called the attention of his companions to the crevices which furrowed 
the walls of some of these houses ; in some places even, the walls 
seemed to have been torn up entirely from the ground and transported 
vertically to a distance of several yards. 

These mute witnesses, no doubt dating back several 
centuries, indicated clearly enough from what cause this 
village had been abandoned. The population — Chris- 
tian, to all appearances — had been compelled to flee 
from the violence of the earth- 
quakes and seek a 























^^£9}i-: 



M 






'fH 



r^^ 



m 













c'/ refuge somewhere else. It was a repre- 

sentation, on a small scale, of Herculaneum 
or Pompeii. All this part of Asia is, more- 
over, essentially volcanic. The conical mountains, like those of 
Auvergne, in France, are frequently met with here. From their 
jagged craters — to-day extinct and covered with fruit trees — trachytic 
and basaltic lava has flowed on the surrounding country. Decomposed 
by the rains, it has spread on the soil the elements of an incomparable 
fertility. Under the influence of the iron and the phosphoric acid, the 
vegetation here acquires a superabundance of vitality. Unfortu- 
nately, the subterranean activity still often manifests itself by violent 
shocks. The subterranean gases, seeking an outlet and no longer find- 
ing one through the obstructed passages of the ancient craters, explode ; 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 
oU 

the earth moves and opens, sometimes engulfing in a few seconds the 

work of many years. 

I>ana was reached without accident. After having lunched here 
and left their animals to cool off, Monaghan and Cornill^ set out to 
make surveys in the valley, while Badger, his daughter, and the gov- 
erness, accompanied only by a guide, went to ^isit the celebrated 
Roman tomb, which is still shown in the environs of the city. It is 
the best preserved monument of its kind in Syria. It bears the date 
of the year 324 of the Christian era. 

As they approached the tomb, our tourists perceived, not without 
surprise, a white mass which seemed to lean against a stone separated 
from the monument. While asking themselves what this could mean, 
they continued to advance, when suddenly the white form rose up, and 
a woman — a child, rather — whom the sound of the travelers' footsteps 
had caused to look around, showed her charming face, bathed in tears. 
She appeared to be fifteen or sixteen years of age at the most ; her dis- 
hevelled hair and disordered dress seemed to indicate a precipitate 
flight. She wore the picturesque costume of the Greek women of 
Syria, very similar to that of the slaves of the rich Turkish paslias : a 
short and loose vest, covered with lace ; puffed trousers of flowered silk, 
fastened around the waist by a sash fringed with gold ; sheshia edged 
with gold, and half-boots of yellow morocco. 

When she saw the strangers coming towards her, the child sprang 
up with a bound and started forward as if disposed to take flight again. 
But the poor creature's strength no doubt failed her, for she stopped, 
began to tremble, and fell down again on the stone which had sup- 
{x>rted her before. Miss Nelly approached, and kindly took her by 
the hand, trying to make her understand, by her caresses, the interest 
which she took in her troubles. That soft voice seemed to revive the 
young girl. She raised her head, and regarded Miss Nelly with con- 
fidence, seeming to implore her not to abandon her. At a venture. 
Miss Nelly asked her in Arabic, of which language she had learned a 
few words, who she was, and how she came to be there. To her own 
and her father's great astonishment, the young girl replied in pure 
English. 

This is, in brief, the story that she told : a Greek by birth, she had 
Ix'en— at a very early age— carried off by the Turks and sold to a 
wealthy English lord who owned considerable land in Asia Minor. 
That was the only period of her life to which she looked back with 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



61 




pleasure. Brought up like a child of the house, she had lived happily 
until the war broke out between the Russians and the Turks. Her 
master had been killed, his house pillaged and sacked ; her mistress 
died from the shock, and, wliile faitliful servants succeeded in escaping 
with the tw^o children, she herself, fallen into the hands of the pillagers, 
had been sold to a Turkish pasha. 

She would not have had much cause for complaint in regard to her 
new master, who Avas not a bad man, and would have treated her quite 
kindly, were it not for the bad , 
counsels of his wife. She, see- 
ing in his slave a future rival, 
maltreated and tyrannized her 
without mercy, and lost no op- 
portunity of accusing her be- 
fore her husband. 

The pasha had settled in 
Aleppo not long before. She 
had succeeded in escaj^ing ; 
Avorn out Avith hunger 
fatigue, she had iallen, 
powerless, at the foot of 
the tomb Avhere Miss 
Nelly and her father had 
just found her. 

Badger had listened to 
the young girl Avith great 
emotion. 

" What was the name of your 
English master ? '' he asked, Avhen she 
had ended. 

"Lord Harrigton,'^ she replied. u ^ 

" I had guessed it Avhen hearing your story, for I kncAV already the 
mournful circumstances of his death and that of his unfortunate wife. 
Lord Harrigton Avas my kinsman, and, in trying to better your lot, 
my poor child, I shall fulfil a two-fold duty, for I shall but be acting 
in conformity Avith the Avishes of my unfortunate cousin. I shall my- 
self conduct you back to your master, I shall procure Avithout difficulty 
his pardon for your attempted flight, and cause him to treat you better 
in the future than in the past." 




^2 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

But, at the bare thought of fallmg again into the power of her per- 
secutor, Fatma (that was the name which her Turkish master had 
given the young slave) began crying and sobbing anew. The wife of 
the jMisha was without doubt delighted to be rid of her servant. The 
latter's return would cause new alarms, and she would not fail to make 
her i)ay dearly for them. Rather than face the resentment of her ter- 
rible mistress, the fugitive would have chosen death. Throwing her- 
self at Miss Nelly's feet, she entreated her to take her as a slave, 
swearing to love her always and to follow her everywhere like a faith- 
ful dog. 

Lord Badger made the young girl rise, and tried to restore a little 

of her courage. 

" I cannot dispose of you, in spite of your master, my child," he 
said to her ; ^^ according to the laws of the country, you belong legiti- 
mately to him. To try to conceal you amongst us, or to repulse by 
force those whom your master will send in your pursuit, if he has not 
already done so, would be to expose us all to the danger of being 
massacred, for the people among whom we are will not fail to take 
the part of your ravishers against us. But be reassured : I hope, in 
restoring you to your master, to proceed in such a manner that he will 
consent to my buying you. We shall afterward consider what had 
best be done." 

Fatma thanked Lord Badger effusively and returned to Dana with 
her new companions. On the way, she related the incidents of Lord 
Harrigton's death. She had, however, little to say about it. A dis- 
ordered band of Turkish soldiers had invaded his lordship's house. 
He had defended himself; but, overwhelmed by numbers, compelled 
to leave a tower in which he had sought refuge, because the soldiers 
had set it on fire, he had been killed by a bullet. 

The geologist and Cornill6 were greatly surprised to see Fatma in 
company with Badger and his daughter. They were quickly ac- 
quainted with the circumstances. They congratulated his lordship on 
his good action, and approved his plan. As to Flatnose, he declared 
the occurrence to be a very common one. He observed that in a dis- 
tant ex^^edition, it always happened that some one was delivered, and 
that logically, Fatma would infallibly have been met with some day 
or another. 

The horses, which had been cooling off, were quite ready. They 
hastened to get back into their saddles. Fatma succumbed to fatigue 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



63 



and to the excitement of the day. The guide seated her as well as he 
could on his animal, which he led by the bridle, walking at her side. 
The young girl and her guide were placed in the centre of the little 
cavalcade, which then started off. 

They had hardly left Dana, when they perceived a troop of Turkish 
soldiers on the road. Poorly and loosely dressed, as they often are in 
this part of the empire, they 
arrived before the caravan in 
the most complete disorder. 

He who appeared to be the 
chief of the band had no sooner 
perceived Fatma, more dead 
than alive, than he began to 
utter loud cries, and darted 
toward the unhappy girl, with 
tlie evident intention of stran- 
gling her. Quick as lightning 
Cornille threw his horse be- 
tween the young girl and her 
ao^s^ressor. The latter drew 
his sabre and called on his 
companions to aid him. Cor- 
nille, revolver in hand, kept the 
chief at a distance, ready to blow 
out his brains if he advanced 

a step. Badger, Monaghan, Flatnose, and even Miss Nelly drew 
their revolvers. The Turkish soldiers hesitated for a moment before 
this menacing attitude, then, believing themselves to be the weaker, 
replaced their sabres in their girdles. The chief alone, furious with rage, 
continued to wheel about the Europeans, whirling his sabre above his 
head, and uttering inarticulate cries. But, always finding a revolver 
pointed at himself, he kept at a respectful distance. Suddenly his 
horse sank under him, and man and beast disappeared together. They 
had fallen into a hole dug at the side of the road. The soldiers Avent 
to the aid of their chief, avIio Avas yelling with pain, for his horse was 
trampling upon him at the bottom of the hole. After much trouble 
they succeeded in getting the poor devil out, with a broken leg and 
arm. 

This incident entirely cooled the ardor of the belligerents. The 




64 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

si)I(liors inclined to the belief that their chief was in the wrong, since 
he had l)een so unexpectedly punished by Allah. Some pieces of 
money, which Badger had adroitly distributed among them, served to 
convince them fully of this fact, so that they ended by being more 
disposed to follow Badger's orders than those of their wounded chief. 
A parley was begun. The soldiers explained that tke pasha had sent 
them in pursuit of his fugitive slave. The guide, translating Badger's 
words for them, replied that Fatma was, in fact, being taken back to her 
master, and that, therefore, they had but to join the party and go with it 
to Aleppo. This they decided to do after having tied the wounded 
man on a horse. The unhappy wretch uttered cries of pain at each 
movement of his animal, which did not prevent him, however, from 
shaking the fist which he could still use at Fatma, who, almost fainting 
after so much excitement, pressed close against Miss Nelly, as if she " 
Avere the only power capable of protecting her. 

The return to Aleppo was not marked by any further occurrence^ 
Lord Badger waited upon the pasha. The latter, desirous, perhaps, of 
restoring peace in his household and of quieting his wife's scolding, 
raised no difficulties in the way of selling his slave to the Englishtnan. 
And then, the sum oifered Avas large and the pasha in want of money, 
not a rare thing in Turkey. 

It would be impossible to express the joy which the young girl felt 
when she learned that she was to have nothing further to do with her 
opjiressors. Lord Badger oifered her the means of leaving Turkey 
and returning to her native land. At this proposition the child's face, 
but a moment before so joyful, suddenly became sad and troubled. 
She had no longer any relatives, she would be like a stranger in her 
own land. Having never known any condition but that of servitude, 
the idea of being free had for her no precise meaning. Happiness^ 
such as she imagined it, was to have good masters to whom one can 
be devoted and attached. 

" I have been a slave since my childhood," she said, ingenuously, 
" keep me with you as your slave, I shall serve you devotedly as long 
as I live." 

Nelly's soft eyes, fixed on her father's at that moment, seconded the 
touching request. Badger decided that the young girl should remain 
Avith them and should make one of the expedition. 

The new recniit was not the least ornament of the party. Lively, 
merry, frolicsome, always ready to sing and laugh, she was like a joy- 



I 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. (J5 

Oils bird, twittering and prattling, in the midst of this company of 
serious people. Miss Xelly entertained no distrust of her new friend. 
The sincerest affection continued always to exist between these two 
amiable persons, born under such different skies. Miss Nelly was the 
blond incarnation of the mists of the north — Fatma the creation of 
the burning sun of Asia. 

It was decided that the young Greek should keep the somewhat 
boyish costume, which became her so capitally, at least until they re- 
turned to Europe. While they were staying in the cities she would 
be careful not to go into the streets but strictly veiled and enveloped 
in her haik, as the Mussulmans do not allow a woman in Oriental 
costume — that is, regarded as belonging, like themselves, to the reli- 
gion of the Prophet — to show herself out-of-doors with uncovered face. 
• On the third day after the one marked by the episode which we 
have just related, the journey began again — more monotonous than 
that from Hamah to Aleppo. 

Aleppo lies on the borders of the desert. From here to the Eu- 
phrates the boundless waste extends almost without interruption to the 
banks of the river ; then the desert continues towards the East, to end 
only on the banks of the Tigris. Jabul is the only station of some 
importance which the caravan encountered. 

On leaving Jabul, where the supply of water was renewed, the sky, 
which until then had been unchangeably blue, took on a pale color. 
The temperature suddenly grew cooler. Towards evening the rain 
began to fall. It threatened to be a bad night. The caravan halted, 
and not a moment was lost in preparing camp. It was high time. 
Hardly had they finished their preparations, when the wind arose with 
extreme violence and threatened every moment to tear away the tents, 
which were, however, firmly fixed to the ground. The rain fell in 
torrents. Repose was not to be thought of amid this unloosening of 
the elements. Badger and his people were collected in the principal 
tent ; the men, standing, forming a group, Miss Nelly and her gov- 
erness sitting as well as they could on heaps of shawls and cloaks, 
while Fatma, seized with terror, and cowering at their feet, hid her 
pretty, frightened head between the arms of her friend at each new 
gust. 

Monaghan admonished everybody to be patient ; the rain could not 
last long in this country and this climate. And, in fact, at the end of 
two hours, the wind abated and the rain suddenly ceased to fall. Each 
5 



66 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



one 



went to his tent, and soon the travelers peacefully fell asleep in 
their hammocks, guarded by sentinels who watched by turns. 

Next day the sky was again as clear as on the preceding days. The 
sun rose in a horizon of fire, as if revivified by the shower of the 
night before. The caravan set out again on its journey. 

In the evening the travelers had an opportunity %f viewing one of 
those spectacles which are to be seen only in this dream-land. From 
two to three hundred camels were walking in file some miles away 
from them. The outlines of these animals, and of the Arabs who rode 
them, stood out sharply against the clear sky. The transparency of 
the air was such that the eye perceived all the details of the forms, and 
even the regular undulations of the walk. Were it not for the con- 







traction of the perspective, one would have believed them to be but a 
short distance oif, and, in this silence of an Oriental night, the ear was 
instinctively strained to catch the sound of the steps striking the 
ground. This denial given to previously acquired habits — this con- 
tradiction which seems to exist between the two senses which place us 
in direct communication with the outer world — certainly contributes 
much toAvards producing for every inhabitant of the north, newly 
transferred to the orient, that sort of enchantment in which every- 
thing that is seen seems to partake at the same time of the real and 
of tlie visionary. 

When the silhouette of the last camel had disappeared, the eyes of 
the travelers were still fixed on the horizon. Flatnose's jesting voice 
was the first to break the charm. 

" Look," cried the journalist, suddenly seizing Badger's arm, " look 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 67 

at tliat long mass that is moving rapidly through the desert. A lamp 
precedes the gigantic reptile and lights the way. There, a shrill 
whistle announces its arrival ; it's the railroad of your dreams, my 
lord, the line which sets London and Calcutta in communication." 

^' You forget to see something else,'' replied his lordship, laughing. 
" Turn a little to the right, my dear Flatnose : what do you say of 
those long poles which are outlined in the distance ? " 

" Those ! " exclaimed the journalist. " Why they are the electric 
ships which cross Syria by ascending your canal." 

It was decidedly useless to attempt to surprise Flatnose in the act 
of being enthusiastic or serious. Is this an influence of stoutness on 
the ideas? I leave it to the physiologists to solve the question. 

On the next day, towards noon, certain changes in the nature of the 
ground, bushes and tufts of green grass, announced the vicinity of the 
river. And, in fact, the silvery surface of the Euphrates soon ap- 
peared between the trees — this Euphrates which they were now to 
descend as far as Babylon. 

The place at which they stopped is Baylis. -Of an ancient city there 
remain but shapeless debns, a ruined castle on a hill of clialk, around 
which are grouped the houses of a miserable Turkish village. 





It is not so easy to travel on the Euphrates as on the Thames or 
the Seine. Nevertheless Badger and his companions had resolved to 
reach Babylon by the water-road. For this they would make use of 
a raft of a peculiar form — already in use at the time when Herodotus 
visited these countries — -and which is called halak. 

The kahxk, the name alone of which has perhaps varied in the 
course of centuries, is formed by two rows, crossed, of trunks of trees 
sawed in two and firmly bound together, so as to form a plane surface. 
Underneath leather bottles are attached, inflated with air, which keep 
this stage floating above water. 

Two kakikjis, boatmen, seated on bags, work the oars, which are 
simply long, straight poles, thin at the end, which is held in the hand, 
provided at the other end, by way of paddles, w^ith pieces of reed 
alwut eight inches long, cut in two and placed crosswise along about 
three feet of the pole. 

The travelers had to wait at Balis while a large kalak was being 

(68) 



( 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 69 

constructed. Materials were fortunately not wanting. Balis, being 
the starting-point and landing-place for numerous caravans going from 
the Euphrates into the interior of Syria, possesses building-yards where 
timber and leather bottles are stored. 

In order to beguile the tedium of these days of enforced rest a hunt 
was organized on the banks of the river. They set out one morning 
and followed the course of the Euphrates, going up-stream. A light 
mist covered the immense plain. Then, as the sun rose above the 
horizon, the vapors disappeared, and the sky showed itself in all its 
splendor. 

For several hours they walked along the right bank among the 
reeds. Several shots announced that the hunters had met with game. 

Indeed, when a halt was made. Lord Badger, Monaghan and Cor- 
nille deposited ducks, geese, and even a beaver on the grass. The last 
animal must have been one of a colony settled in the marshes Avhich, 
in that place, line the course of the Euphrates. 

After luncli the ladies rambled off in the direction of the river. 
They had hardly walked a hundred yards or so when they were heard 
to utter loud cries and calls for help. On arriving at the spot where 
they were, the men found them stooping down to the ground and try- 
ing to hold back a turtle about three feet long, which was endeavoring 
to reach the water. A ball, fired point blank, shattered the animal's 
head. A cord was tied around its campace, and it was dragged to 
and hoisted on the wagon which had brought the provisions. 

On the way back it was decided to leave the marshy banks of the 
Euphrates and to continue the hunt on the small chalky cliffs which 
line the river at a little distance. They hoped to find other kind of 
game here, especially partridges, quite common in this country. The 
hunting, which had already been good in the morning, was still more 
successful on these plateaus. But the best shot was made by Flatnose, 
so he said, at least. He claimed to have killed a rare bird, unknown 
in Europe, and which he intended to add to tlie collection of the 
British INIuseum on his return to London. It was in vain that he 
was pressed to show this bird ; he remained inflexible. At last, on 
arriving at the camp, our excellent journalist majestically drew from 
his game-bag the prize which was one day to establish his fame. A 
loud burst of laughter immediately disconcerted the poor man — his 
bird was only a vulgar magpie ! 

The supper was exceedingly merry. Partridges, ducks and geese, 



7Q BABYLON ELECTKIFIED. 

served with all sauces by skilful chef Green, were washed down by 
generous wines of France and Spain. In the centre of the table, on a 
bed of leaves, Flatnose's trophy w^as pompously displayed. The two 
young girls had been careful thus to honor the magpie killed by their 

friend. 

As to the turtle, it was cut up and taken on the i^aft, to serve next 
day for the preparation of an excellent soup and a sumptuous roast. 

The kalak was just finished that evening. On the following morn- 
ing all embarked, and the descent of the Euphrates Avas quietly begun. 
The raft was, on the whole, very comfortable. Cabins sheltered the 
travelers from the rains or the heat of the sun, which w as still great 
despite the late season. They floated with the current, advancing more 
rapidly in that manner than might have been believed at first. Sev- 
eral rains that had already fallen on the mountains of the upper basin 
had accelerated the current of the Euphrates. 

During the first days of the trip the landscape continued to be 
monotonous. The river flowed through level plains, sometimes cutting 
a wide bed for itself through the chalk or its alluvium. At long in- 
tei^vals small, isolated hillocks were discerned on the bluffs. - They 
were the shapeless ruins of ancient Greek cities, which had, however, 
had their hour of prosperity — Thapsacus, Nikephorion, Leontopolis, 
Kallinikon — of which w^e have but a faint record or remembrance 
to-day. 

The vegetation w^as poor. In certain favored portions of the soil 
if consisted almost exclusively of the fruit-trees which abound in this 
country. A little farther south some plantations of olive and cotton- 
trees began. At the same time the desert gave place to more inhabited 
regions, for the villages, which had been wanting entirely south of 
Balis, became more frequent. 

Rakka Avas passed, the ancient capital of Haroun-al-Raschid. But 
this capital has fallen greatly from its ancient splendor — it is now but 
a small village. Farther on came Zelibi, on the summit of a rock. 
Its ancient monuments, constructed of blocks of translucent alabaster, 
recall those aerial and fantastic palaces spoken of in the Thousand and 
One Nights. 

The stay in the kalak was not disagreeable. The coolness of the 
nights had been uncomfortable during the first stages of the journey ; 
but, in proportion as they descended towards the south, the air became 
milder. Indeed, the voyagers often, instead of sleeping under the 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 71 

tent, preferred to spend a few good hours in chatting and meditation 
on the forward part of the raft. Benches and a table had been placed 
here for the meals. 

The air is so clear and the moon shines so brightly on the banks of 
the Euphrates, that the journey could be continued during the night. 

The mild temperature that evening had led all the passengers to re- 
pair to the fore part of the kalak. They conversed while smoking 
and drinking tea. The spectacle before their eyes was pleasing and 
interesting. Lightly undulating hills followed along the two banks 
of the river ; gardens succeeded each other uninterruptedly, with their 
white, flat-roofed country houses. They were evidently approaching 
some important city, a centre of traffic and cultivation. The pilot an- 
nounced Deir. 

" Deir," read Monaghan, opening his guide-book, " remarkable for 
its rice-fields, its cotton and tobacco plantations and the ruins of its 
bridge recently carried away by a freshet in the Euphrates." 

" There are the ruins," exclaimed Miss Nelly, pointing to a black 
mass which seemed to bar the river some distance away. 

They were, indeed, the ruins spoken of. The kalak approached 
them rapidly and had soon passed them. 

The next day, when they met again at breakfast, the general charac- 
ter of the country had changed. The low banks of the river and the 
little hillocks had suddenly given place to uneven escarpments. Even 
the direction of the Euphrates was modified. Instead of descending 
towards the south, it now flowed towards the west. It was the long; 
mountain-range of the Jebel-Abgad which produced this disturbance. 
As the ground rose, the vegetation at once became fresh and luxuriant. 
This phenomenon was due to the increased humidity of the air, which 
develops rapidly with increase in height. The high summits condense 
the vapors on their sides and form springs which filter down to the 
plains and there produce fertility. 

The rocks of the mountain, burned by the sun, had a reddish color 
Avhich contrasted strongly with the indigo blue of the sky and the 
gray of the sandy desert. The gorges became more and more narrow ; 
the clifls overhung the river. The progress of the raft became, at the 
same time, more difficult. This long b^nd of wood had to be steered 
between the rocks which rose pell-mell out of the water. It was for- 
tunate that the kalak floated on the surface of the river and that it 
was solidly built. In spite of the precautions of the skilful pilot, it 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

was impossible to avoid several collisions, luckily without serious 
results. Not one of the leather bottles was damaged. 

Suddenly the Euphrates made a turn and resumed its normal direc- 
tion towards the south. It had opened a passage for itself through one 
of tlie ravines of the mountain. 

'' I^ook/' cried Fatma, suddenly, " there's a second Euphrates down 

below there." 




This new stream was the Khaboor, the largest tributary of the Eu- 
phrates, the outlet for the waters which are collected in the mountain- 
wall of the Jebel-Abgad. The junction of the two rivers is effected 
at the foot of a huge cliff, the base of which is washed by the waters 
of the Euphrates. 

Night came on, and they had still not passed out of the gorges. As 
it would be impossible to continue the journey in the dark, in such an 
irregular course, they were compelled to run the raft against the shore 
and to wait until daylight appeared. 

Next day they emerged from the mountain. The Euphrates flowed 
once more in a more level plain ; its valley broadened. 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 73 

The succeeding days were less monotonous than those which had 
elapsed since the departure from Balis. 

The river had hollowed a deep bed for itself through calcareous 
lands. High cliifs lined both banks of the Euphrates without inter- 
ruption. The country through which they were passing had at one 
time been the centre of a numerous population. Ruins abounded 
everywhere on the tops of the cliifs. Here, it was a tower, half crum- 
bled down with cracked walls, the sun shining in through the win- 
dows. There, it was some strong castle, of which nothing was left 
but portions of the walls, bjackened by time. The attention of the 
travelers was attracted most by the castle of Rahaba, near Maya- 
dim, the ruins of which, still grand, rise at the summit of a craggy 
cliif. 

The kalak is steadily advancing. The city of Anah has been 
reached, the long city, which stretches along the banks of the Eu- 
phrates for five miles. Anah is an oasis rather than a city. Its 
houses, far apart, are built along roads which wind through a forest 
of cocoa-nut trees ; palms, fig-trees, pomegranate-trees and orange-trees. 
Unfortunately, this oasis is but of small extent. It is comprised 
within a strip of ground, confined on the one side by the river, and on 
the other by perpendicular cliifs. 

At sight of this tropical vegetation, forming a singular contrast to 
that which had been met with until then, our travelers could not help 
reflecting on the brilliant future reserved for Mesopotamia. What 
might not be expected from a country where the soil becomes so fertile 
when it is properly tilled, when man takes the trouble to work ? Meso- 
potamia is a promised land for future generations. 

At Anah, the first palm-plantation was met with. From here on, 
descending towards the south, the palm-trees were to become more and 
more common. The aspect of the country changed completely through 
this transformation of its flora. It is the trees, in fact, which give a 
country its special character. The icy solitude^ of the poles, the for- 
ests of the lands of the north, the green shores of the Mediterranean, 
the oases of the Sahara, virgin forests of the tropics, prairies and pam- 
pas of America, steppes of Russia, all are characterized by their special 
flora. 

Numerous boats and kalaks, loaded with merchandise, lay along the 
shores of Anah. This city is the centre of a considerable trade. Im- 
mense fields of cotton and sugar cane are cultivated all around it. An 



^^ BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

excellent wine is also grown here. Our travelers could see the vines, 
twining around the trees, and passing from one to the other in garlands 
and festoons, as in Lombardy. 

In the projects of Badger and his companions, Anah was later on to 
acquire still greater importance. They intended to establish several 
industries here : sugar-factories, cotton-mills, etc., w l^^ch the local cul- 
tivations would render productive. 

They landed, and passed the day in visiting the city and its sur- 
roundings. The inhabitants are industrious and quiet ; they received 
the strangers with kindness. 

South of Anah, the Euphrates continues to flow between two high 
walls of rock. The villages of Haditah, El Oos, and Jibbah are built 
on the steep sides of these cliffs. The inhabitants have generally merely 
hollowed out their dwellings in the rocks. A simple bit of wall con- 
stitutes all the masonry. The chimneys, passing through the roof of 
the cave, discharge the smoke over the sod above or through the trees 
which cover the sides of the hill. 

But that is not yet the greatest curiosity of these villages. Not able 
to build any more on the cliff, the inhabitants have had to fix their 
dwellings on the islets of the river. In order to escape the sudden 
floods of the Euphrates, they have completely surrounded their houses 
with high and thick walls, which must be scaled and descended again 
in order to get inside. 

" That is a village built at the bottom of a well," said Miss Nelly, 
aptly, when they passed close to the first. 

And here is Hit, with its sources of asphalt. Monaghan desired to 
show a singular phenomenon to his companions. The raft was there- 
fore run against the shore, and they landed. 

Before the voyagers stood a high hill, formed like an inverted fun- 
nel, from the top of which a little brook came running down. Mona- 
ghan caused them to taste a little of the. water ; it had a disagreeable 
taste and an odor of petroleum. It contained, in fact, a small quantity 
of this substance. 

They scaled the hill. On arriving at the top, they found themselves 
in presence of a kind of kettle, at the bottom of which bubbled the 
spring which gave rise to the brook. This had hollowed out a subter- 
ranean passage for itself, and burst out a little lower down on the side 
of the hill. 

South of Hit, the cliffs suddenly subside, and the Euphrates flows 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



75 



through an absohitely flat country. Pastures extend as far as the eye 
can reach on both banks of the river. At this moment these green 
meadows j)resented a magic spectacle. Thousands of horses and camels 
were grazing the tender grass which grows at all seasons, thanks to the 
moisture produced by the river, whose waters filter through the porous 
soil. 

Then, after the pasturages of Saklawiah, came marshes among which 
the Eu])hrates seemed about to lose itself The grass gave place to 
rushes and numerous aquatic plants. The river, the banks of which 
were no longer to be seen, diminished rapidly in depth. They now 
advanced only through a narrow channel between the reeds. Finally, 
on the 20th of December, the pilot announced that they were approach- 
ing Hillah, a small city built on the site of ancient Babylon. The 
end of the journey had been reached at last. 





CHAPTER IX. 



BABYLON. 



It was night when our travelers 
landed near Hillah, on the left bank of the Euphrates. The evening 
had l)een warm, but the air had grown much cooler after the sun had 
set behind tlie sands of the desert. This change in the temperature, 
jKX'uhar to the hot countries, was caused by the proximity of tiie 
marshes. 

The moon shone brightly in the dark blue sky, and the surrounding 
objects took on a fantastic appearance under this pale light. Great 
black masses were distinguished at the far horizon — masses whicli 
seemed at times to rise from the ground and float vaguely in the air. 
The silence was broken only by the melancholy song of some boat- 
men delayed along the river, or by the far-oif voice of the muezzin, 
who was calling the faithful to prayer. 

The tents were raised on the banks of the Euphrates, about a thou- 
sand yards from the city. Evorybody was fatigued and glad to have 
at last arrived at the point of destination. Now, all fatigues and pri- 
vations would soon be forgotten. Were thev not at Babylon, on the 
(76) 



BABYLON ELECTKIFIED. 77 

sacred site of an ancient civilization — on the ground on which it was 
to appear in renewed splendor — thanks to the application of the dis- 
coveries of modern science ? 

The last part of the journey had appeared longer than all the rest. 
When approaching the end, one would always like to hurry forward^ 
and the most dispassionate characters are subject to a kind of fever. 

Sir James Bado^er was the first to rise next mornino;. The stars 
were beginning to pale before the dawn, and night was disappearing^ 
from the east. The banks of the Euphrates were covered with a 
transparent vapor which w^as agitated by a light wind. 

The others came out of their tents in succession and ranged them- 
selves in silence around his lordship. The moment was solemn — it 
was like taking possession of the ancient empire of Semiramis. 

The light became brighter every moment. On the banks of the 
river, in the distance, to the fartliest horizon, the ground was broken 
and irregular. Tlie level plain of the desert gave place to hillocks 
covered with shrubs and thorny bushes. 

Each of these knolls was the sliapeless ruin of some palace of an- 
cient Babylon. The edifices, constructed entirely of bricks and bitu- 
men, had collapsed under the action of the elements and the agency 
of man. The bricks, burnt and unburnt, had been again converted 
into clay, and formed these artificial hills. 

Here was all that was left of so marvellous a capital ! Where were 
the palaces, the walls, the temples, the hanging gardens which had 
made of Babylon the most wonderful and the largest city of the 
world ? Of all these, nothing remains but dust. To-day, only a few 
tumble-down Arabian houses stand on the site of the city, where so 
many different nations had met, which had been so often conquered 
and raised up again from its ruins, which had sheltered the great con- 
querors of the world — from Cyrus and Alexander to the Arabs. 

The city of Hillah obstructed the view towards the south : Hillah- 
el-Feidah, that is to say, Hillah the grand, which occupies a portion 
of ancient Babylon. It is shaded by date-trees and is surrounded by 
magnificent gardens. They saw the bridge of boats, six hundred and 
fifty feet long, which places the city, built on the right bank, in com- 
munication with the suburbs on the opposite bank. 

Xot far away from the camp some Arabs had also raised their tents. 
They were pilgrims going to the holy city of Kerbela. 

Badger, armed with a field-glass, was looking anxiously in the direc- 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

ion of the city, behind the bridge of boats. At last he uttered a cry 
''if he EketricUy has at last arrived at Hillah ! " said he. " I can 



78 



tion 




see very distinctly its smoke-stack and the colors of England and my 
own flying from its mast." 

The ladies were left in the camp under the protection of Monaghan, 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 79 

Blacton and Flatnose. The last was delighted to have arrived at 
Babylon. From that moment his rdle of reporter was to begin. He 
had already settled himself comfortably before a small portable desk, 
and was covering several sheets of paper with his jovial prose. How 
many things there were to write to his editor in this first article ! 

As for Badger and Cornille, they proceeded towards Hillah. Badger 
had not been mistaken. It was indeed the Electricity which floated on 
the waters of the Euphrates. Half an hour later they were on board 
of the little ship effusively shaking Captain Laycock's hands. How 
happy they were to see each other again, safe and sound, after an ab- 
sence of six weeks ! 

Laycock and Jack Adams had arrived without accident at Bassorah 
with the little fleet. The Davy and the Faraday had been immedi- 
ately unloaded, and the working-stock stored in the docks of the port. 

This done, the Electricity had been loaded and liad ascended the 
Tigris as far as Tekrit, with Jack Adams and the hands for the hy- 
draulic works. Here, as it was impossible for the steamboat to con- 
tinue on its way, there being not enough water, the machines had been 
transferred to flat boats, which could go up without difliculty as far as 
Mosul. 

The Electricity had descended again to Bassorah. After receiving 
a new load, it had this time ascended the Euphrates as far as Hillah, 
where it had lain at anchor for two days, awaiting Badger's arrival. 
With the working-stock, the ship brought at the same time the hands 
intended specially for Babylon. 

After having listened to this report and having assured himself that 
all was in good order. Badger, accompanied by Cornill^ and Captain 
Laycock, waited upon the representative of the Turkish government 
at Hillah. The latter had received oflicial orders from the SuUan 
through the governor of Bagdad. A hundred soldiers had even been 
sent from that city, designed to secure the works at Babylon against 
an armed attack. 

All the forenoon had been occupied in this way. Our three friends 
remained in camp only during the lunch-hour. Then there were re- 
newed handshakings and endless questions regarding the events of the 
two journeys. If Laycock had many interesting things to relate 
about his voyage and his trip on the Tigris, Badger and those who 
accompanied him had also enough to say on their part. 



90 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



The introduction of Fatma to the captain and of the captain to the 
young ^irl was gone through in due English form 

-Charmed with so lovely a recruit/' said the old sea-dog, shaknig 

the young girPs hand. 
"May we always make 
only tqually agreeable 
ones ! " 

The repast was very 
merry. At this moment 
these men were collected 
around a table placed on 
the sands of the desert 
w^hich surrounded them 
on all sides. A^ery 
small, indeed, did they 
appear. And yet it was 
they who w^ere going to 
transform these deserts 
into a rich country. 'With 
electricity for their arm, 
they would produce, on 
this barren ground, a 
most brilliant manifesta- 
tion of the creative power 
of man. 

"To work!" said Bad- 
ger, rising. "We have 
enough to employ the 
rest of the day usefully. 
The first thing that we 

have to do is to look for the most suitable site on which to establish 

our electric works. Come, let us go ! '' 

Everybody wished to be one of the party. They had become so 

rusty in the joints from the long stay on the kalak that every one was 

ver}^ glad to take a long walk. Besides, their curiosity was strongly 

excited ; they wanted to see the ruins of ancient Babylon — that capital 

which is quasi-legendary to-day. 

It was necessary to construct the works on the very banks of the 

Euphrates. Two advantages were thus gained : that of having the 







BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 81 

water near at hand and that of being able to unload more easily the 
goods brought by the ships. It was therefore decided to follow the 
banks of the river, going up-stream. For it was especially up the 
Euphrates that they had the most chances of finding a favorable 
position. 

The first impression was not a good one. The banks were low and 
marshy, formed by a variable soil. The choice of such a situation was 
not to be thought of, for the buildings would have no solidity whatever 
here, and they would be exposed each year to disastrous inundations. 

Luckily, rising ground was discerned towards the north. They, 
therefore, directed their steps straiglit towards that point. After 
walking half a mile or so, they arrived at the foot of a hillock which 
tlie Arabs call Ka^r, that is to say, castle. The appearance of this 
hillock caused it to be taken at first sight for one of nature's accidental 
eifects. It was covered with grass and bushes like the commonest of 
hills. Miss Nelly was, therefore, not a little astonished to learn that 
they were at the foot of the ruins of an immense monument erected 
by Nebuchadnezzar. 

In climbing up the sides of the kasr, portions of brick walls were 
indeed discovered. 

'^ Singular mortar,'^ said Monaghan, breaking oif one of the bricks. 
" You see, gentlemen : here, as in Egypt, they used sometimes a mix- 
tiire of lime and bitumen, sometimes bitumen only." 

A little higher up, there was a veritable quarry dug in the very 
sides of the hillock : an enormous lieap of burnt and unburnt bricks. 
For several centuries the poor inhabitants of Hillah had been getting 
the materials here to build their houses with. 

The view from the top of the kasr extended far into the distance. 
One could take in at a glance the immense perimeter formerly occupied 
by Babylon. A multitude of small tells, scattered through the plain 
right and left of the river, marked the sites of the palaces and monu- 
ments that had disappeared. 

" Can one really believe what is said concerning the enormous extent 
of Babylon ? " asked Miss Nelly, addressing Monaghan. " Was it as 
large as London, or larger ? '' 

"At least as large. Miss Badger," declared the geologist. " It had 
the form of a square, fifteen miles on each side, which gives an area 
of two hundred and twenty-five square miles. But the houses proba- 
bly did not cover all of this space. The ancients had the custom of 
6 



gj BABYLON ELECTKIFIED. 

leaving, between the city and the encircling walls, quite a broad strip 
of ground, on which it was forbidden to build." 

" Is the reason for this interdiction known ? '^ 

'' Prolmbly a religious prescription. But I confess to you my pro- 
found ignorance in matters of ritual, ancient or modern.'^ 

During this little archaeological digression, Blactow, who had finished 
examining the plateau on which they were collected, declared it to be 
an excellent spot for the future works. Though near to the Euphrates, 
it yet lay at a sufficiently high level to be safe from the most violent 
floods. The surface, almost horizontal, was sufficiently large. As to 
the ver}^ irregular base, Cornille and he estimated it at no less than 
fifteen hundred yards. It thus filled all the required conditions. 

A few hundred yards from the first plateau, a second hillock was 
perceived, also situated on the banks of the Euphrates, but somewhat 
less in height. This other ruin bore, in the country, the name of 
Babd — that is to say, completely ruined. 

They descended the kasr again and went towards Babel. This hil- 
lock, like the first, is an enormous heap of bricks burned or dried in 
the sun, and joined together with a cement of lime or asphalt: The 
mass has crumbled down under the repeated action of the elements, 
forming a rectangular plateau, whose sides measure two hundred and 
twenty-five feet by five hundred and twenty, with a height of about 
two hundred feet. 

"An excellent place for my thermo-solar pile," exclaimed Cornille, 
who was the first to reach the top of the plateau. " Babel is but a 
few steps from the kasr ; my pile will be near to the works." 

"In any event," said Laycock, "material will certainly not be 
wanting for the erection of your buildings. You will have inex- 
haustible quarries of bricks under your very feet. The Babylonian 
workmen who fashioned these bricks four thousand years ago, little 
supposed that they would serve one day to construct electric works." 

The walk had been a long one. Since leaving Hillah, they had 
covered over four miles. It was decided to rest for half an hour on 
the top of Babel. 

"So it is well understood," urged Badger, "that the kasr will serve 
as site for the works, while the thermo-electric pile will be placed on 
Bal)el ? I have no objection to make to your choice, gentlemen ; you 
can begin work to-morrow." 

"As for me," said Miss Nelly, " there is one thing that is not quite 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 83 

clear to me. Although I have felt the difference tliat exists between 
the Oriental sun and our poor sun of London, I yet ask myself how 
you are going to find a sufficiently large quantity of solar heat here to 
form numerous works, give motion to electric locomotives, and illumi- 
nate and heat cities ! Xow, what a furnace of heat is the sun ? '' 

" I haj^pen to have something to convince you in my note-book, 
here," said Cornille; '^ it is a calculation by Mr. Marcel Desprez, 
which will give yon an idea of the immense quantity of solar heat use- 
lessly lost in certain regions of the globe." 

The engineer then read these few lines : 

" To evaporate a kilogramme * of water under a pressure of ten at- 
mospheres, it must be furnished with a quantity of heat equal to 650 
calories. Now, the apparatus of Monsieur Mouchot permits the evap- 
oration of about a kilogramme of water per hour. Let us see what 
that represents on a surface equal to that of France, for example. The 
area of France being about 200,000 square miles, it is easily found 
that the quantity of water which will be evaporated in an hour, during 
a fine summer's day, is about 17,700,000,000 cubic feet, or 500,000,- 
000,000 kilogrammes. In order to evaporate a like quantity of water 
in a good boiler, it would be necessary to burn 60,000,000 tuns of oil, 
that is to say, one-fifth of the total actual consumption of the whole 
world. The powerful locomotives which draw the express trains on 
our railroads, when they are used at full power, evaporate somewhat 
over 180 cubic feet of water per hour, producing a 500 horse-power on 
the pistons. It follows from this that the solar radiation, on a surface 
equal to that of France, could evaporate enough water to feed more 
than 80,000,000 of locomotives, producing together 40,000,000,000 
horse-power. If this quantity of steam, produced under a pressure 
of ten atmospheres, escaped freely into the air, supposing there is a dis- 
charge of 610 kilogrammes per second and per square yard, it would 
take a funnel with a diameter of over 550 yards, or equal to that of 
the crater of a volcano." 

" I bow before science and before the figures," said Miss Nelly, 
smiling, " and I make a most humble apology to the sun. I certainly 
did not suspect that he possessed such power." 

" Mesopotamia," resumed the engineer, " enjoys a continually clear 
sky. The brightness of the sun is rarely dimmed there by clouds. 

* 2.2046215 lb. avoirdupois. 



g4 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

Twelve square yards of surface are sufficient to give, by means of the 
thermo-electric pile, a one-horse power during the whole day. Babel 
has a surface of about twelve thousand square yards ; we shall attain a 
thousand horsepower for our first trials." 

" Let us go, my friends,'' said Badger ; " here Ave have been resting 
for half an hour, lunch awaits us, and there is still lenough to occupy 
our time usefully from now until dinner-time." 

They all rose. Flatnose yawned, stretched his arms, rubbed his 
eyes. He had slept during this conversation, too serious for him. 
The secrets of science had little temptation for him. He was content 
to admire the results and to make them known ; when, in order to sat- 
isfy the demands of the modern public, he thought it necessary to 
adorn his fanciful style with a learned quotation and technical terms, 
he always had some kind friend at hand to furnish him with the ele- 
ments of this bit of effect. Thanks to this innocent subterfuge, he 
added to his reputation as a charming narrator, an incomparable re- 
porter, that of being second to none in encyclopaedic knowledge. 




il 




THE DISCOVERY OF GRIM- 
MITSCHOFFER. 

Next day they set to work. The 
camp was fixed inland, five hundred 
yards east of the kasr, on a knoll 
high enough to aiford security from 
inundations. It was decided to con- 
struct in this place the workshops, 
storehouses, dwellings, and all the 
buildings necessary for so large an 
undertaking. 

On the evening of the fifth day the camp presented a picturesque 
and animated appearance. Blactou and Cornille, comfortably estab- 
lished for a prolonged stay, occupied huts at the top of the eminence ; 
so that they could watch, even at a distance, and notice anything that 

(85) 




gg BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

hapiienocl in no matter what part of tlie work-yards, at any hour of 
the (lay or night. Around them, and suitably spaced, were grouped 
the huts occupied by the foremen and superintendents. More than a 
hundre<l tents, intended for the workmen, and near each of which a 
fire was kindled to prepare a meal for three or four persons, rose on the 
grassy sloi>es of the hillock. Beside the workmen brought from Eng- 
land,'there were also native workmen hired at Hillah and even at Bag- 
dad. Farther on, the Turkish soldiers, whose sole duty was to protect 
the work against the attacks of plunderers, were stretched around the 
fires of their bivouac, silently smoking their long pipes while prepar- 
ing a frugal supper. 

Considerable material had been brought before Badger's arrival, 
through the care of the English consul. They were but waiting for 
an order to transport it to the site chosen for tlie future works. This 
order had gone off the day before ; immediately after the arrival of 
the timber and iron, the constructions were to be begun. 

Jack Adams had returned to the upper valley of the Tigris, where 
Badger was to join him in a fortnight. Cornille and Blacton re- 
mained to construct the electric works and the thermo-solar pile. 
Captain Laycock had already gone the day before. He was returning 
to Bassomh with his little steamer to bring a new load of machinery. 
It would take him nearly two weeks to reach the Persian Gulf and 
ascend again to Babylon. The new caravan, composed of Badger and 
his daughter, Flatnose and Miss Eoss, was to await his return before 
proceeding to Bagdad. 

A new life began for Cornille and Blacton. Since their departure 
from London they had traveled as amateurs, as tourists ; at present^ 
their enormous task claimed their whole attention. 

Blacton was glad to resume his familiar occupation. His whole 
dwelling was converted into a workshop : on every hand were seen 
plans, drawings of machines, models of all kinds of apparatus. It 
was he who assigned to each one his work. It was he to whom they 
applied for orders and instructions. He was the centre towards which 
everything converged. Silent and always keeping in the background 
during the whole duration of the voyage, he now displayed an activity 
which one would never have suspected him capable of showing. 
Here, in his element, Blacton, rather awkward in a drawing-room, be- 
came again the incomparable engineer, around whom everything took 
life and was transformed. 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 87 

As for Cornille, never had a man at the beginning of his career, and 
filled with a noble and lawful ambition, seen brighter prospects open 
before him. If the undertaking succeeded — and everything seemed to 
indicate that it would succeed — not only would his name become 
famous among those of all contemporary engineers, but wealth would 
inevitably come to him, and open all its treasures to him. Distin- 
guished, young and rich, what height might he not attain ? 

And yet, if he had carefully questioned his heart, Cornill6 would 
perhaps have perceived that ambition did not absorb him entirely. 
Enjoying now since many months the intimacy of Lord Badger, who 
treated him more as a friend than as a simple collaborator, brought to- 
gether every moment with Miss Nelly, he could not help feeling for 
this charming young girl an affection more tender than was to be de- 
sired for his peace of mind. But he wished to ignore this love, 
decided as he was to conceal it in the depths of his heart. Of an es- 
sentially proud and upright nature, our friend would have blushed to 
yield, even in secret, to a sentiment which he could not declare openly 
to her who was its object. Miss Nelly's social position, the rank 
which her father occupied in the upper English aristocracy, stood in 
the way of this avowal, which, on the part of the engineer, would have 
been an act of indelicacy towards the man who showed him so much 
confidence and friendship. He was thus firmly resolved to suppress 
liis passion and to find in his work a protection against every weakness 
unworthy of him. 

Badger, accompanied by Monaghan and the two young girls, visited 
the surroundings of the works during the few days which he had to 
])ass in Babylon. The site of the ancient capital is now nothing but a 
dismal solitude. A large number of mounds, scattered throughout the 
plain, are all that remains to mark the spot where stood the ancient 
palaces. These mounds are formed by the accumulation of bricks, 
burnt and unburnt, reduced, most of them, to a state of dust. The 
Babylonians could not employ stone in their constructions, for their 
city lay too far from the calcareous or granitic lands. With the clay 
of the Euphrates they made bricks ; with reeds and asphalt, which are 
found in abundance in the neighborhood, they joined these bricks to- 
gether, and so constructed walls. Time and the elements have pro- 
duced their eifect on such fragile materials. A few centuries more and 
not a vestige will remain of the city of Nimrod, of Semiramis, and of 



gg BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

Nebucliadiiezzar, of the capital which astonished antiquity by its 

splendor. 

The Babylonians had succeeded in transforming this immense plain 
into a fertile country, which, under the Turkish rule, has again become 
a desert. They had arrived at this result by a thorough irrigation of 
Mesoi>otamia. AYherever there is water the vegetation is marvelous. 




The earth is saturated with manure ; the trees have their roots in the 
water and their tops in a burning air. All conditions are thus united 
for obtaining an extraordinary fruitfulness. 

Badger and his companions had an example of this on their first 
excursion. Coming to the edge of a marshy piece of land, they saAV 
an Arab stooping over the ground, holding a long stick in his hand, 
with which he drew little furrows in the wet soil. Puzzled by this 
spectacle, they drew nearer. The Arab had already scratched a large 
surface. He paid no attention to the presence of the Europeans and 
continued his work. When he had finished he took a bag and scat- 
tered wheat by tlie handful over the ground which he had turned up ; 
then, with his stick, he roughly covered the seed with a light layer of 
earth, and went away without saying a word. 

After their return to camp, they learned that it was in this way that 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 89 

the Arabs cultivated the ground. And yet, in spite of this rough 
manner of tilling and sowing, the results obtained surpass all belief. 
Four months after the sowing — that is to say, about April — the crop 
is ripe and ready for the harvest. A single grain of wheat has pro- 
duced thirty or forty fold increase. 

Badger acquired the certainty that Babylon would soon become the 
public granary of Europe. These results need not astonish us, for 
Mesopotamia is the native land of wheat. ^Yhat results would not 
be obtained when the too primitive process of farming, practised by 
the Arabs, had been replaced by the perfected methods of Europe ! 

On the day before the one on which Lay cock was to return from 
Bassorah, an expedition was organized for exploring the right bank 
of the Euphrates. Babylon extended over both banks of the river, 
which the Queen Nitocris had caused to be spanned by a bridge. Not 
a trace of this monument remains to-day. 

This time the party was complete, excepting Blacton, whom it was 
now impossible to get away from his work for even an hour. Cornille 
desired to visit an important hill — the Birs-Nimrod — whicli it might, 
perhaps, be possible to make good use of later on. Perhaps, too, the 
engineer was inwardly happy to journey once more by the side of 
Miss Nelly. She was to leave on the second day after. Who knows 
if he would ever see her again ? 

Flatnose himself had designed to make one .of the party. This 
would give occasion for a new article for his paper ; and, finally, he 
was fully decided by the fact that they were to be accompanied by the 
provision wagon, in which vehicle he could be comfortably installed, 
and in company with the charming Miss Ross. 

They started at daybreak, for it would not take less than the whole 
day to go and return conveniently. The caravan descended along the 
Euphrates, passing near to the place where they had landed the first 
time. About a thousand yards farther on they entered the suburbs 
of Hi Hah — poor hovels, inhabited by 'half- vagabond Arabs. After 
having passed along a lane which seemed to be deserted, they reached 
the brido^e of boats which connects the suburbs on the left bank with 
the city, built on the right bank, then they entered Hillah. This city 
resembles all those that line the Euphrates — white-washed walls, 
houses with flat roofs that serve as a place of assembling for all the 
members of the family during the summer evenings, large gardens 



90 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

where palm-trees wave their tops in the wind, mosque with slender 
minarets. 

They had quickly passed through the city, and were once more in 
the midst of the solitude. The landscape was the same as that on the 
left bank, in the neighborhood of Babel and of the kasr — the same 
monotonous plain, studded with knolls formed by heaps of bitumen 
and bricks. These tells were, however, less numerous here. The 
reason of this is that Babylon extended principally on the left bank 
of the Euphrates ; the other part was, properly speaking, nothing but 
an immense suburb. 

In the distance rose a sort of hill which overlooked the plain. They 
proceeded straight tow^ards it. The eminence of Birs-Nimrod lies 
about five miles from Hillah and about ten miles from the kasr and 
from Babel. The caravan, not hurried in its march, had taken nearly 
four hours to pass over the distance. 

The Birs-Nimrod — that is to say, the tower of Nimrod — is one of 
the rare monuments which have escaped the complete decay of the 
ancient palaces of Babylon. Constructed on the banks of one of the 
arms of the Euphrates — the one which takes most of the watei'^ of 
the river to Lake Nedjef — it was formerly an immense observatory 
erected to science in the reign of Nebuchadnezzar. It bore the name 
of Toicer of the Seven Spheres. The Arabs . think they see in it the 
ruins of the ancient Tower of Babel. 

Birs-Nimrod is a striking example of the rapidity with w^hich the 
monuments of Babylon have disappeared. The dimensions of the 
mound, quite rectangular, are 630 feet in length by 488 feet in breadth. 
Its height, above the level of the plain, is at present from 195 to 225 
feet. Now, Strabo, in his time, gave it a height of five stadiums, 
which corresponds to about 600 feet. Since Strabo's time, the tower 
of Nimrod has, therefore, become about 375 feet lower. If there is 
no interruption to this rapidity of destruction, not a trace of it will 
remain a thousand years hence. A¥hy be astonished because the other 
monuments, less solidly constructed, have already disappeared almost 
completely? 

They ascended the mound, not a very difficult undertaking, on 
account of the slight declivity of the slope. Arrived at the top, our 
travelers found themselves face to face with a fine wall, thirty feet in 
height, which stands about in the centre of the plateau. 

" Why, bless me,^' cried Flatnose, suddenly, looking up at the top 



BABYLON ELECTKIFIED. 91 

of the tower, " an aerial telegraph ! Illustrious Chappe, how happy 
I am to be able to salute here the last specimen of thy admirable 
invention V^ 

They all raised their eyes to the spot indicated, and saw, to their 
stupefaction, a long black machine which made signals by the aid of 
two enormous arms. At the same time, inarticulate sounds, apparently 
coming from the same point, struck their ears. They drew nearer; 
the long machine began to move around the platform, and redoubled 
its signals. 

Badger took his glasses and looked up. 

" Why, it's a man," said he. " He is dressed in black, and is as 
lean and dry as Don Quixotte. What the deuce is he doing up 
there?" 

The man, since it was one, leaned over and cried in Arabic : 

" Help me ! I am dying of hunger ; I have been here for three 
days!" 

Badger knew a little Arabic; he understood what the man wa& 
saying. 

How deliver him ? That did not appear easy at first sight. The 
tower was solid, without stairs. Some windows, placed at equal inter- 
vals, indeed pierced the thickness of the walls ; fragments of arches 
also stood out at one of the corners. But, unless one were a cat or a 
monkey, climbing the edifice by this means was not to be thought of. 

" How can we reach you ? How get up there ? " 

" Raise up the ladder which has fallen at the foot of the wall, on the 
other side," replied the stranger in French. 

They passed around to the other side of the wall, and saw indeed a 
long ladder lying among the bushes. 

It was now easy to understand how our man had been left on the 
top of the tower : he had reached the top by means of the ladder ; but, 
by some accident, this had slid to the ground, thus leaving the visitor 
a prisoner. 

The ladder was raised against the wall, and the unfortunate captive* 
could at last descend. 

Pale, weak, famished, the poor man was in a sad condition. For- 
tunately, the lunch was served at the bottom of the Birs-Nimrod. 
The whole party descended the hill again, and quickly sat down to 
table. 



<)2 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

" Do von feel better now ? ^' said Badger, when the unknown had 
swallowed his first mouthfuls. 

" Very much better, thank you/' he replied, in pure English. " I 
was almost dead with hunger when you delivered me from above 

there." 

" Can you tell us now who you are ? " said Badgem 

^^Ja,^ said the unknown, with his mouth full. 

" But does this gentleman then know all the languages ? " exclaimed 
Flatnose. "After all, that is not astonishing, since we are at Babylon.'^ 

After having recovered his strength somewhat, the man related his 
adventures. His name was Grimmitschoifer, and he was occupied at 
the time with archaeological researches relative to the ancient empire 
of Assyria. Since several days he was exploring the ruins of Babylon, 
and had begun his researches at the monuments on the right bank. 
Desirous of mounting the tower of the Birs-Nimrod, he had taken two 
Arabs with him to carry a long ladder. But fancy his stupefaction 
and his fright when, having reached the top of the building, he saw 
his two rascally Arabs overturn the ladder and run oif at full speed ! 

For three days he had called for help. Not a human being had ap- 
peared near the tower. Determined not to die of hunger, he was about 
to hurl himself from a height of thirty feet when Badger's caravan 
had appeared at the horizon. 

Through what dreadful anxieties had he not passed during an hour ! 
What if the travelers should turn away from the Birs-Nimrod without 
seeing his signals or hearing his desperate cries ! 

Grimmitschoifer knew Badger and his companions by name. He 
had been informed at Hillah of the arrival of the Europeans and of 
the end which they pursued. They desired, said the inhabitants, to 
recover the treasures buried for centuries in the kasr and in Babel. 

As to himself, he Avas, as he modestly declared, a distinguished 
archaeologist. He had published more than a hundred memoirs and 
had written over a dozen volumes on the monuments of all the coun- 
tries of the earth. He desired to reconstitute the plan of Babylon, in 
order to demonstrate to the scholars that ancient Rome was constructed 
on exactly the same plan as the ancient capital of Assyria, with opera- 
tions analogous to those of the Assyrian monarchs. 

He had already published a number of volumes and written several 
manuscripts on the subject. " I happen to have here some notes as 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 9? 

proof in support of this/' said he, drawing a manuscript from his 
pocket, and he prepared to read them. 

" Later on ! Later on ! '^ cried the others in chorus. " Eat first ; 
you shall read afterward." 

Grimmitschoffer reluctantly replaced his manuscript in his pocket. 

" You are too long," remarked Flatnose, a moment later. " I pro- 
pose to cut you down, Mr. Grimmitschoifer ; it takes a minute to pro- 
nounce your name. I shall call you simply Grimm." 

^' Unanimously adopted," said all the others, rising. 

A few hours later the excursionists and the learned scholar Grimm 
were back at Babel. 

" By the bye," said Badger, when they met again, '* you forgot to 
tell us before, Mr. Grimm, what your nationality is." 

" I have none, my lord," replied the antiquary ; " a man like me is 
above the questions of frontiers and nationality, I am a citizen of the 
Universe." 

'^ If that is so," put in Flatnose, ^^ your real name is not Grimmit- 
schoffer, but certainly Volapiik." 




■^;'^^, 




CHAPTER XI. 



FROM BAGDAD TO MOSUL. 



Captain Laycock arrived the following day with a fresh cargo of 
machines and material. 

The caravan, as we already know, was to be compelled of the follow- 
ing persons : Badger and Miss Nelly, Fatma and Miss Ross, Mona- 
ghan and Flatnose. To these must be added Grimmitschoffer, who is 
no longer called by any name but that of Grimm, and to whom Bad- 
ger had proposed to travel in company with him, as long as his archae- 
ological researches should keep him in these regions. He would thus 
avoid accidents similar to that to which he had nearly fallen a victim. 
Grimm, who desired precisely to ascend towards the north, following 
the banks of the Tigris, to explore the innumerable ruins scattered 
along the river, eagerly accepted his lordship's kind oifer. Thus an- 
other new member joined the expedition. It must be said that the 
adjunction of this other recruit was not received with very great favor. 
Fatma's arrival had been hailed with joy by every one ; Grimm's was 
not received with so much enthusiasm. 

Yet Grimm was an excellent man ; but his forty-five years — he 
looked at least sixty — his bald forehead, his long hair falling in locks 
on his neck, his large nose and the enormous spectacles which hid half 
(94) 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



95 



of his face, could not vie either with the fifteen years or with the naive 
grace of the young Greek. 

On the preceding day, after the return to camp, Grimm had again 
wisiied to read his manuscript on his comparative study of Rome and 
Babylon. Unfortunately, on account of the general fatigue, every one 
had retired to his tent after supper. The following day, another fruit- 
less attempt : the whole day was occupied in preparations for the de- 
parture. Our ar- 
chaeologist had to 
resign himself and 
put his manuscript 
away for a more 
favorable time. 

Five days were 
necessary to finish 
the complete equip- 
ment of the cara- 
van. At last, on 
the 6th of Janu- 
ary, they were 
ready to start. The 
Electricity had al- 
ready left again 
three days before. 
The little steamer 
was to descend the _ 

Euphrates to its '^^'^ " -._ -^^-^--^ ^^^^^ -^ "~ ^ — 

junction with the - — ^ 

Tigris, and then ascend the latter river as far as Bagdad, where Bad- 
ger and his companions would await it. They had preferred to go 
directly from Babylon to Bagdad by the land-route. The journey 
would last only tliree days and would consequently be much quicker 
than in going by the Electricity. 

The separation was cordial. Blacton and Cornill^ wished their old 
companions a pleasant journey. Badger gave his last charges, and 
shook them by the hand, much more deeply moved than he would have 
wished to show. 

When Cornill^ bid Miss Nelly adieu, it seemed to him that the 
young girPs eyes were wet. She answered him in an uncertain voice, 




96 



BABYLON ELECTKIFIED. 



that seemed as if contracted by emotion. Then he encountered the 
look of Fatma, whose mischievous smile seemed to say : I foresaw 
it long ago. 

'' Can it be that I am loved/' thought the engineer to himself. At 
the very thought a great joy filled his soul. But, summing up all the 
energy of his will, he said to himself that, even in tfee interest of his 
heart's idol, he must hope that she would forget him. 

The distance which separates the Euphrates from the Tigris 
between Babylon and Bagdad is only about forty-nine miles. The 
journey can be easily made in two days, especially in the month of 
January, when the temperature is endurable. 

The Arabs have given the name of Jezireh to the region which ex- 
tends between the two rivers. It is a vast, mountainous plain, solitary 
and level, whose horizon is bounded only by infinity. The Turkish 
government has caused modest caravansaries or khans to be erected, 
which, from distance to distance, offer a shelter and resting-place to 
the caravans. 

Six hours after leaving Babel they arrived at the first of these 
khans. A halt was made to rest and to take dinner. In the evening 
the second one was reached. The tents were raised for the night, and 
they prepared to eat supper near a large fire of dry brushwood. 

It was a beautiful star- lit night. The flames of the improvised 
hearth threw strange lights on the surroundings of the camp. The 
travelers talked long about the journey they were undertaking ; about 
Jack Adams, of whom they hoped to have news at Bagdad or at 
Mosul ; about the hydraulic machines and the turbines. 

Next morning at daybreak the caravan set out again. After going 
a mile or two they came across one of those canals which served to 
spread the waters of the Tigris and the Euphrates over the plain. 
This one, about sixty feet wide, bordered right and left by high 
embankments, crossed the desert in a straight line and converted it 
into a fertile plain. It is now half filled up. Large pools of stagnant 
water covered with green weeds, intersected by long strips of sand, 
are all that remain of this fine work of the Babylonian engineers. 
How easy would it not be to restore it to its original state ! 

They had almost reached the third khan when an accident happened 
which might have had grave results, but which, fortunately, ended in 
a comical manner. 

Flatnose and Grimm, who, notwithstanding their frequent quarrels, 



BABYLON ELECTKIFIED. 97 

or perhaps because of tliis, felt at times the irresistible necessity of 
being together, rode at the head of the party. Suddenly their horses 
were seen to sway from right to left and fall heavily to the ground. 
The rest of the caravan immediately hurried to their assistance. 
Monaghan, Avho was the first to arrive, had to stop his horse, which 
Avas plunging into deep holes. He dismounted and made signs to the 
others to stop. 

In the meantime Grimm rose, felt himself from head to foot and 
ascertained that no bones Avere broken. As to stout Flatnose, he had 
to be lifted on his legs. He groaned as if there was not a bone left 
whole in his body. 

" Try to walk,^' said Monaghan to him. 

He made a few steps in advance, but plunged into another hole and 
fell heavily again. They succeeded at last in getting him out of this, 
to him, doubly dangerous spot and bringing him back to terra firma. 

He was bruised, but not wounded. 

The guide explained what had happened. They had passed over 
the burrows of a colony of jerboas. These animals dig deep under- 
ground galleries close to the surface of the ground, which cave in when 
a heavy body passes over them. He added that accidents like tho.se 
whicli had just happened were not rare. 

On the evening of the same day they discerned at the horizon the 
minarets and cupolas of the mosques of Bagdad, in Arabic Dar-es- 
Salaam, the abode of j^eace. 

Seen thus at a distance of two miles or so the ancient capital of the 
Abbasside caliphs aj)pears to the surprised and delighted eye of the 
traveler such as he has been able to picture it to himself in a past 
which seems to belong as much to fairy-land as to reality. 

The city covers almost the same space as in the time when it con- 
tained a numerous population, and nothing stands in the way of the 
imagination whicli ascribes to it the splendor and magnificence of by- 
gone times. The white houses, on the terraces of which one seems to 
see the shadows of the w^omen who have come out to breathe the per- 
fumed coolness of the night ; the sharply defined spires of the min- 
arets, vying in slenderness and, lightness with the slender trunks of 
the palm-trees ; the Tigris, which unfolds like a broad silvery band ; 
the sky, of a clearness unequalled even in the Orient, indicate well the 
city of the Thousand and One Nights, where, in one of the fantastic 
7 



jg BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

palaces indistinctly seen by the light of the stars, Scheherazade is per^ 
haps just relating one of her wonderful tales. 

Unfortunately the fairy scene disappears as you approach it. When 
the caravan had passed the walls it found itself in a large waste place, 
in which, here and there, stood the ruins of some miserable cabins. A 




few hundred yards farther on they entered the suburbs on the right 
bank of the Tigris. At the end of a long street they reached the 
banks of the river, which was crossed on a bridge of boats and not far 
from which Badger and his companions took possession of a large 
building which the English consul had rented for them and caused to 
be furnished in European style. 

Next day Miss Nelly and Fatma, the first to wake up, desired to 



BABYLON ELECTKIFIED. 99 

inspect the house before breakfasting. It was composed, like all the 
dwellings of the rich Arabs, of one-story buildings arranged around 
a large square court. The gallery giving access to the apartments on 
the ground-floor was supported by small, light columns of palm-wood, 
with graceful corbellings and delicate capitals. 

The two young girls descended by a narrow staircase into a sort of 
cave, or rather a vaidted chamber hollowed out below the level of the 
court. They were informed that this was the sirdab. Here the in- 
habitants of the house sought refuge during the excessive heat. They 
found here both coolness and shadow. 

There being nothing further to see below, they ascended to the flat 
roofs by an interior staircase. From here there was a splendid view 
to be had of the city and the surroundings. 

" It's too beautiful ! '' cried Miss Nelly, after having contemplated 
this scene for several minutes. " Fatma, do bring my father and our 
friends.'^ 

A few minutes later they were all collected on the terrace. Flat- 
nose alone was wanting. He snored like an organ-pipe, forgetting in 
sleep his misfortunes of the day before. They had not had the heart 
to wake him. 

The panorama which was unfolded before their eyes was truly 
magical. Bagdad, with its masses of houses, its gardens breaking out 
between the terraces, its cupolas and minarets covered with brightly 
colored faience, extended on the two banks of the Tigris. The river, 
broad and sparkling, wound through the plain amidst a forest of 
palm-trees. To the east, to the north and to the south there was the 
limitless desert, the waste desert, with a soil of clay and sand. At the 
east the mountains of Persia raised their snow-covered summits to- 
wards the sky. The distance prevented them from seeing the details, 
but the peaks, the rounded domes, the dentated crests, could be dis- 
tinguished with exceeding clearness. Below, dark masses detached 
themselves : they were the smaller mountains, the lateral chains which 
seem so grand to the traveler standing at their base and v/hich disap- 
pear before the enormous mass of the central chain when regarded 
from a distance. 

Leaning on the balcony of the terrace, our friends could not tear 
themselves away from their contemplation. The dazzling sun, re- 
flected on the gold of the surrounding sands, flooded everything with 
so bright a light that the city appeared as if enchanted. 



100 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



Miss Nelly was enraptured to see Bagdad at last, the city isolated 
in the midst of the deserts which seem to separate it from the rest of 
the world a city that is almost fabulous to the inhabitants of the 
Western countries. 

Alas ! the reality was not altogether like the fiction. The palaces 
of Haroun-al-Ras(;hid, the monuments of Zobeidfth have crumbled 
into dust. Everything has contributed towards the destruction of the 
splendors of the ancient caliphs ; the Turks, the Tartars, tlie tempests, 
and even the inundations of the Tigris. Bagdad has fallen greatly 







; :^^^± 




%^ ;^'^ P;M^ 







from the position which it had formerly occupied. Its walls have 
grown too wide for its present inhabitants, reduced in number to fifty 
thousand. 

Fortunately the true observers and the true artists are not subject 
to the same deceptions as the common herd of tourists, for whom the 
most beautiful things liave exactly the value of theatre scenery. For 
those who know how to see, the reality offers compensations which well 
replace the dream. If the Bagdad of to-day does not resemble that 
of the Thonmnd and One Nir/hts, it yet has its blue sky, its beautiful 
river, its incomparable climate. In its mosques and in its bazars the 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 101 

varied crowds still jostle each other, the throngs belonging to the 
various nationalities which have divided this part of Asia among 
themselves. The Turkish rule has not been able to take from 
it its essentially Arabian character. It remains the most Oriental 
among the Oriental cities, the ideal capital of a poetic empire that has 
disappeared. 

Yet they could not stay forever on the terrace, sunk in contempla- 
tion ; they must take advantage of the few days which would elapse 
before the arrival of Captain Laycock to visit the city and its environs. 
It was decided that each one should follow his fancy and go where he 
wished. 

Badger, accompanied by his daughter and Fatma, proceeded towards 
the bridge of boats which serves to connect the suburbs on the right 
l>ank with the city, situated on the left bank. The cities of Mesopo- 
tamia have always developed principally in the direction of the set- 
ting sun. 

After having crossed the bridge, our three sight-seers entered a 
coffee-house composed of a covered gallery serving as a divan, and 
under which several Turkish merchants, nonchalantly extended on 
cushions, were smoking their chibouks and drinking pure Mocha. 

Opposite to the coifee-house was an abandoned mosque, devoted to 
certain ruin by the carelessness and unconcern of the natives. The 
Arabs do not destroy the monuments — as they have wrongfully been 
accused — but they alloAv the most beautiful of them to be destroyed 
by the action of time and the elements, without ever trying to oppose 
any obstacle. 

Since it has allowed itself to be despoiled of the most beautiful 
countries in the universe, this people, which in times of old founded 
the most wonderful empire of the world, seems to be prey to a great 
nostalgia. Become conquering by the spirit of religious proselytism, 
it awaits, one might tliink, a new prophet who shall arise and recom- 
mence the marvelous legend, the remembrance of which pursues it. 
Until then, what avails it to be disturbed ? Nothing is worth troub- 
ling about ; such seems to be its motto. 

On the Tigris there was a perpetual moving to and fro of craft of 
all shapes and kinds. Boats with long flexible masts and sails swelled 
by the wind were descending the sti'cam, taken rapidly along by the 
current. Ships and kalaks, run aground or made fast near the shore, 



102 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

were bringing timber, cut on the mountains of Persia, to the capital, 
and were loading and unloading merchandise. 

But what diverted the two Londoners most was to see the numerous 
"guifehs," or coracles, descending or ascending the river, transporting 
jiassengers and packages from one shore to the other. 

Tliese " quifehs '^ are a very curious kind of boatf, contemporaneous, 
no doubt, with the kalaks, and also dating back to the Assyrian 
epoch, for representations of them are seen on the bas-reliefs found in 
the excavations. They might be compared — excepting the handle — 
to the oval baskets which the French peasant-women use for taking 
butter and eggs to market. They are constructed of plaited rushes, 
and covered with bitumen. They are guided with a single oar, which 
propels them by turning. 

Tlie bridge of boats also presented a very animated appearance. It 
was being incessantly crossed by a varied procession : Arabs of the 
desert, mounted on their small and spirited horses ; pedestrians or 
Jewish merchants, pursuing their pleasure and their business, at the 
slow, even trot of the large white asses mottled with designs in color 
of hennah ; native women, carefully veiled, somewhat resembling 
walking bundles ; Kurdish women, with uncovered faces, accompanied 
by their husbands, tall fellows, with a hardy and proud air. 

Then there were large flocks of sheep, fed in the meadows which 
linie the Tigris, going to the slaughter-houses of the city ; camels, 
heavily loaded with the products of Persia and Arabia. 

The next day w-as devoted to visiting the mosques. The English 
consul had obtained, not without trouble, the authorization of the mil- 
itary governor of Bagdad, with the express reservation that the visitors 
should leave their shoes at the door, a condition to which the ladies as 
well as the men submitted with good grace. One must never uselessly 
hurt religious feelings. For the thinker and for the sincere believer, 
every religion is to be respected for the reason alone that it is a reli- 
gion. 

The best preserved mosques are those of Abd-el-Kader, Abd-el- 
Kahman, and that of the Sheikh Yoosuf. Built of brick, they are 
lined on the exterior with squares of colored faience, w^hich form ex- 
ceedingly pretty designs and give the minaret a light and graceful ap- 
l)earance. 

On the interior the mosques, by their bareness and simplicity, re- 
mind you a little of the Protestant churches. No statues or altars ; 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 103 

no representations of figures of man or beast. Arabian architecture 
allows of but little ornament other than geometrical designs. On the 
whitewashed walls are inscribed verses from the Koran ; there are no 
benches or seats of any kind ; the faithful pray kneeling on mats or 
carpets. It cannot be denied that these temples, where the soul feels 
itself, w^ithout help or an intermedium of any kind, face to face with 
the only God, produce a very thrilling effect. 

Bagdad possesses a railway, or rather a tramway, the only one 
which exists in Mesopotamia, and which serves to connect the city 
with the pretty and elegant village of Kazmin, composed of fine villas 
and gardens full of flowers. Our travelers went out after breakfast 
one day to take a walk there. 

Kazmin is the country-seat of the capital, the rendezvous of the 
wealthy Arabs during the heat of summer. It is also a place of pil- 
grimage venerated by the Persians, who come to pay their devo- 
tions at the tomb of the iman Moosa-ibn-Jatfar, a celebrated Shiite 
martyr. 

This tomb lies in a superb mosque covered with blue, black, white, 
and rose-colored faience. A large crowd of pilgrims had come 
together there. It was necessary to forego inspecting its interior, for, 
in the eyes of these fanatical Mussulmans, the mere presence of the 
Europeans would have profaned the holy place. They had to be con- 
tent with admiring the exterior of the monument, a large, square edi- 
fice, in the midst of a court surrounded by arcades. The platform is 
surmounted by two gilded cupolas, shaped like mushrooms. At the 
four corners, there are four minarets with gilded tops. The general 
effect is rich and beautiful. The tints are delicate and mellow. 

Eight days thus passed very quickly, in promenades and excursions, 
until the arrival of Captain Laycock. They embarked once more on 
the Electricity, to ascend the Tigris to Mosul. 

On leaving Bagdad, the river flows through a forest of palm-trees. 
In the deep shadows of the woods, country-houses with their orchards 
form bright spots. 

To the right and to the left lay the level plain. Towards the 
mograbj that is to say, the west, the desert extended to the extreme 
limits of the horizon. 

Towards the east the country was fertile. Near the ruins of Ctes- 
iphon, a valley, parallel to that of the Tigris, and still more fertile, 
extends in magnificent carpets of verdure to the foot of the mountains 



J04 BABYLON ELE-CTKIFIED. 

of Persia. It is the valley of the Diyalah, one of the most important 
tributaries of the Tigris, and which runs into this river a little above 
Bagdad. 

After having passed the pretty village of Mahdhim, half hidden 
among date-trees, the river makes a turn, and Bagdad and its minarets 
are lost to view. • 

A little farther on, the passengers of the Eledricity could see for 
the last time the cupolas of Kazmin sparkling in the rays of the noon- 
day sun. 

Above Kazmin, the landscape becomes more monotonous. The 
desert approaches nearer and nearer to the river. The latter makes a 
wide turn towards the east, then ascends again towards the north. 

On the second day they passed Samarrah and its celebrated mosque. 
Under the caliphs Samarrah was a large and flourishing city. It was 
the favorite residence of the eighth caliph, Motassem-Billah, who 
made it his cai)ital in order to punish the inhabitants of Bagdad for 
their turbulent character. To-day it is nothing but an unimportant 
village. How many capitals have arisen and have disappeared thus 
in Mesopotamia ! 

Yet, if the Shiite tradition is to be believed, a great destiny is yet 
in store for Samarrah^ It is from this city that the Mahdi will come, 
who will appear like another Messiah. 

A little before Samarrah an embankment was remarked, formed by 
a very high mmpart of earth, w^hich began at the Tigris and extended 
farther than the eye could reach into the desert. The savant Grimm 
declared that they had before them the celebrated wall of Nimrod,. 
which served both as line of defence and boundary line between Meso- 
potamia and Media. 

They were, in fact, ascending rapidly toward the north. In the ab- 
sence of the Median wall the temperature and the brightness of the 
sky would have sufficiently informed the travelers of this fact. In 
the middle of the day it was still warm, but in the morning and even- 
ing it became cold enough to oblige them to dress as in winter, and it 
was well for the party that they were abundantly provided with 
blankets and furs. 

Toward the east the mountains of Persia, becoming more and more 
visible, showed not only their peaks and summits, but even their 
slopes covered with snow. The dazzling sheet descended the heights 
down to the beginnings of the plain. 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



lOS 




/\ 



\ 



Below Tekrit the water of the Tigris suddenly changed color and 
became yellowish and oily. This phenomenon was produced by the 
naphtha which flowed on its surface. Monaghan collected a certain 
quantity of it, which he was able to set on fire. 

A little farther on the ship passed over the springs themselves of 
the inflammable liquid, which bursts out above the water in big, black 

and fetid ripples, then to 
~'^''^'' I spread out over the surface. 

The geologist explained that 
the presence f petr leum 
is not unusual in the 
neighborhood of the 
mountain-chain ; they 
were entering an ex- 
tremely curious vol- 
: canic country and 
would have occasion 
. to study a large num- 
^ ber of natural phe- 
nomena. 

At Tekrit they had 
to leave the Electricity 
and bid adieu again to 
Captain Laycock. The 
latter was to return to Baby- 
lon to transport the rest of 
the material there. He was 
larged with a thousand compli- 
ments to Cornill^ and Blacton. 
Miss Nelly even intrusted him 
with a friendly line to Cornill6, 
below which Fatma added a good- 
day — " hon-jour ^' — in French. 
It was easy tu prueiuL' a large boat at Tekrit for ascending the 
Tigris to Mosul. They were comfortably installed in it and the jour- 
ney was continued. 

The monotonous desert began again after Tekrit, but it did not last 
long. The mountain-chain, which always lay on the right, drew per- 
ceptibly nearer to the river. Soon it raised its escarpments beside the 




(^\,crv\A/a.<*-'-->- • 



106 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

Tigris. They entered a narrow ravine, where the river had opened a 
passage for itself. 

This whole region seems deeply disturbed. To the right and to the 
left of the Tigris rugged walls rise abruptly, from which each year, 
with the melting of the snow, enormous blocks of stone become de- 
tached. The defile is obstructed by huge rocks bttween which the 
river rushes and roars. 

In the evening, by moonlight, the eifect of this chaos is fantastic. 
It seems as if the mountain would close up and engulf you. The 
rocks then take on strange forms. One might take them for the genii 
of the earth, guarding the entrance to these deep gorges and defending 
it from the approach of daring intruders. 

On emerging from the defile of Hamrin a large valley is entered. 
To the left extends the mountain wall through which you have just 
passed; to the right arise the steep walls of another mountain-chain. 
The Lesser Zab, a tributary of the Tigris, here joins with it amidst 
marshes filled with rushes. 

At this point the Tigris ascends at first toward the northwest, then 
directly toward the north. 

Grimm pointed out a high hillock on the right bank. This is the 
hill of Kaleh Shergat, which marks the site of one of the most an- 
cient cities of Assyria, Calah, or Chalach, one of the four primitive 
cities mentioned in Genesis, The three others were : Nineveh, Reho- 
both-ir and Resen. All four were founded by Asshur, grandson of 
Noah, from whom the Assyrians derive their name. 

They had, in fact, left Babylonia, that is to say the empire of the 
south and of the plains, to enter into Assyria, the empire of the north 
and of the mountains. The ruins became as numerous as in the 
vicinity of Babylon and of Bagdad. They were in the region which, 
according to the Bible, has seen the arising of the most ancient em- 
pires. The tells continued almost uninterruptedly on both banks of 
the river. Grimm thus had occasion frequently to give his traveling 
companions the benefit of his profound knowledge of archaeology. 
It was in truth exceedingly interesting to listen to him. 

The high mountains draw nearer rapidly, abruptly closing up on 
the east the plain through which the Tigris flows. Their glaciers rise 
to an enormous height. On their blackish sides the fields of snow 
formed spots of a dazzling whiteness. At sunset these snows and 
glaciers are tinged with the most varying colors. The whole gamut 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 107 

of tones appears here in a gradation of color the delicacy of which 
no brush could render. 

At the mouth of the Greater Zab the spectacle is truly admirable. 
Yon cut through the wall perpendicularly at its axis. Parallel chains 
and the valleys lying between these chains are seen to defile succes- 
sively. From this results a variety of points of view which holds 
the admiration constantly in suspense, for none of these valleys re- 
sembles the other. 

Yet the farther you advance the more gigantic the landscape be- 
comes. The summits accumulate and eclipse everything with their 
enormous masses, the snow descends lower continually. 

A few miles farther on the two slopes subside again. The river 
spreads broadly between two verdant and flowery banks. As in all 
valleys sheltered between high mountains, the air was calm, the tem- 
perature warm and penetrating. The flora was that of the southern 
countries of Europe, while on the various levels of the mountain 
the zones of vegetation of the temperate and frigid regions are super- 
posed, even to the limit of perpetual ice, where every trace of vege- 
tation disappears. 

About a mile and a quarter from the Tigris rise the ruins of Nim- 
rood. In excavating the tell the palace of Asshur-Nazirpal has been 
discovered, as well as inscriptions which have made possible the recon- 
struction of a very interesting portion of the history of Assyria. 

A few hours later the boat arrived at Mosul, and our travelers left 
their moving house for a more comfortable dwelling. 

Badger's first care was to go to the English consulate at Mosul in 
quest of news about Jack Adams. He received the very latest. The 
engineer had almost completed his first hydraulic works near Jezireh- 
Ibn-Omar in the upper valley of the Tigris ; all his men were in good 
health, and he was impatiently awaiting the arrival of his lordship to 
inaugurate his first electric station. 

At ease on that score. Badger occupied himself with the means of 
transport for taking himself and his companions first to Jezireh and 
then to the different valleys of the tributaries of the Tigris. The use 
of watercourses as a means of communication was, in fact, no longer 
to be thought of. For two months they w^ere to penetrate into the 
region of the high mountains that separate Persia from Assyria and 
from Mesopotamia, climb steep passes and surmount the separating 
ridges of several deep valleys. 



J08 BABYLON ELECTEIFIED. 

As it would take a week to organize the new caravan, raise beasts 
and men, and procure the provisions necessary for so long a journey 
through wild and uninhabited countries, it was decided to devote this 
waiting-time to visiting the ruins of Nineveh, Khorsabad and Bavian. 

The next day but one was fixed upon as the day of departure for 
this excursion. During these two days Mosul was to J^e inspected. 

Mosul, by its position, is one of the most considerable cities of 
Mesopotamia. The point of junction of the principal valley tribu- 
tary to that of the Tigris, it carries on an extensive commerce with 
Persia, the Caucasus and the Kurdish tribes of the mountain. It has 
alx)ut forty thousand inhabitants ; its importance is not due only to 
its commerce, but also to the manufacture of marvelous stuffs. It is 
said that Mosul has given its name to the light fabric which we manu- 
facture in Europe under the name of muslin and w^hich has been im- 
ported from the East. 

Mosul is built in form of an amphitheatre, on the top of a hill 
which is nothing but an advanced ramification of the range of the 
Seinjar. The Tigris flows at the foot of this hill and divides into 
several branches. At this place the river is already navigable %r 
rafts of some size. A fine bridge of boats gives access to the city. 

The appearance of Mosul is quite grand. The principal buildings 
and the houses of some importance are constructed of alabaster, which 
is called marble of Mosul. One of the two bazaars is very handsome 
and presents a most animated appearance. The other resembles all 
the establishments of the kind. At the summit of the hill, in the 
centre of a magnificent garden, baths have been constructed, fed by a 
thermal spring. Turks and Arabs come here all the year round to 
seek remedies for their ills or occasions for amusement. 





CHAPTER XII. 



THE GROTTO OF BAVIAN. 



At the hour appointed everybody was ready for the projected exj^e- 
dition to the ruins and to Bavian. 

After having crossed the bridge of boats which connects Mosul with 
the left bank of the Tigris, they followed a road of somewhat over a 
mile and arrived opposite a high mound, which covers a space of no 
less than twenty-five acres. It is the Kouyunjik, where ancient 
Nineveh stood — Nineveh, the great city, " of three days' journey." 

As a site for a capital, it was difficult to choose a better spot. Near 
to the mountains, from whence it could obtain the stones and all the 
materials of construction ; on the bank of a large river, which then 
had, no doubt, a much more considerable discharge of water than to- 
day, it opened and closed at its will the road which placed the east and 
the west in communication. It kept in awe the undisciplined tribe- 
of the mountain as well as the peoples of the flat land. 

When the Assyrian empire is solidly founded, Babylon replaces 
Nineveh. That is the invariable law. Every government which is 

(109) 



no BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

established by the right of the strongest must think as much of de- 
fending itself as of attacking. The first care of the conqueror is to 
fortify himself in the positions gained. The hordes which he hurls 
upon unsuspecting populations must be able, when necessary, to seek 
refuge behind impregnable ramparts. 

L^ter on, there are considerations of another kiq^ which sweep it 
away. The period of conquest and war is succeeded by the period 
of development and wealth. Nineveh is the eagle's nest of the 
Asshurs and Nimrods ; Babylon, the brilliant capital of the magnifi- 
cent empire of Semiramis. 

Grimm itsch offer desired very much to make a thorough study of 
Nineveh. In his system, everything that related to the Assyrian 
empire had an importance of the first order, for, from the foundation 
of this mighty empire began, according to him, all the misfortunes of 
humanity. Nimrod was the first despot, the first to put in practice, 
if not to formulate, the celebrated axiom : Might is right. The tyrants 
and the Csesars who came after him were but his continuators and his 
plagiarists. But the reign of force, the emblems of which were the 
winged heads of bulls found in the excavations, was drawing to its 
close. Right and justice, represented by the lamb and the ram, would 
reign once more upon earth, and he, Grimm, might perhaps be the 
Moses destined to lead humanity into this promised land, or, rather, 
into this recovered paradise. 

The Kouyunjik had been excavated in every direction by preceding 
explorers. Cut open by blows of the pick-axe, it allowed subterra- 
nean galleries to be seen at several points, extending in all directions. 

Grimm, bearing a lantern in his hand, and followed by two men 
also provided each with a lantern and a pick-axe, entered the largest 
of these galleries. 

"Above all," cried Flatnose, as the archaeologist disappeared in the 
darkness, " above all, do not forget to bring us back a Ninevite, living 
or dead.'' 

"And select a handsome one," cried Nelly in turn, laughing, "I 
shall give him as a husband to Fatma." 

While Grimm, in search of some precious find, was thus entering 
into the depths of the earth, the others, led by Monaghan, were exam- 
ining the uncovered ruins and debris. It could be ascertained that 
the interior apartments of the ancient palaces were lined all around, 
to about two-third3 of their height, with slabs of marble and of sculp- 



BABYLON ELECTEIFIED. 



Ill 



tiired stones. The sculptures represented combats or hunts. Frag- 
ments of sphinx were found, of lions, and of immense winged bulls 
such as those which have been sent to the Louvre and to the British 
Museum, There were numerous enameled bricks. The prettiest were 
laid aside to be brought away. 

Meanwhile the time passed and the antiquarian did not reappear. 
They went to visit the village of Nebbi-Yunus, on one side of the 
mound of Kouyunjik, and also situated on a small hill, Avhere, it is 
said, the prophet Jonah lies buried. God had commanded him to go 
and preach penitence to the Ninevites. The irascible prophet, Avho 
would, perliaps, not have been sorry to have seen with his own eyes 
the destruction of the evil-doers, took good care not to obey, and fled 
on a ship. It was only after the adv^entures of which we know that 
he decided to fill the rCle of a messenger of peace, the grandeur of 




whidi he understood so little. The fig-tree is still shoNvn under which, 
his sermon finished, he went to sleep, not without still raging inwardly 
against the divine mildness. 

They were returning to the mound, when the two men who had 
accompanied Grimm to aid him in his researches, came running 
towards them at the top of their speed. They told them that an 
accident had just happened to the poor savant. He had advanced 
into a narrow cleft in the ground, when it had caved in and he had 
been buried under a heap of rubbish. 

A rescuing party was quickly organized. Monaghan, at the head 
of a dozen men armed with pick-axes, advanced to the spot where 
the accident had taken place, and set about to deliver the victim of 
archaeology. 

We shall say at once that, this time again, Grimm ^vas to escape 



1,2 BABYLON ELECTBIFIED. 

with his fright. He being protected by an angle in the wall, the crush 
had not reached him ; but his position was a most uncomfortable one, 
for he could not make a single movement. At the end of an hour's 
work, he was delivered, without a scratch, and brought out in triumph 
among his companions. 

But the poor man was confused. Nothing coulc^ be more comical 
than his disturbed face. 

" 111 fortune pursues me everywhere,^^ said he, sadly. " She does 
not want me to connect my name with immortal discoveries." 

" She will requite you later on," said Badger, gravely, while the 
others could not refrain from bursting out laughing at sight of the 
piteous appearance of this knight of the sorrowful countenance ; ^' do 
not lose courage so easily." 

Cheered up by these kind words, Grimm was able to remount his 
horse, and they took up at last the journey to Khorsabad, lying about 
fifteen miles north-east of Mosul. After a pleasant ride through a 
hilly country, already covered with a luxuriant vegetation, they found 
themselves, at about eleven o'clock, opposite to the ruins. The end 
of January, in these regions, is equivalent to our month of April in 
Europe ; the fruit-trees in fidl bloom gave a holiday appearance to the 
whole country. 

The ancient palace of Khorsabad was the summer residence, the 
Versailles or Compi^gne, of the kings of Nineveh ; its situation in a 
pleasant valley, at the foot of a chain of mountains, high enougli, yet 
w^ithout being craggy and wild, shows that these cruel tyrants, these 
capricious and sanguinary despots had a very strong feeling for nature. 

There is nothing new under the sun : some forty centuries ago, as 
in our day, the sovereigns and the wealthy people left their sumptuous 
palaces and opulent residences, to dwell in pleasant villas like those 
whose ruins are so frequently found on the hills and mounts in the 
vicinity of Nineveh. And at that time, like to-day, it would no 
doubt have been very bad form to exempt oneself from this custom, 
im{X)sed as much by fashion as by a real attraction. 

The ruins of Khorsabad extend over a surface of nearly two square 
miles. They are well enough preserved to have permitted the recon- 
struction of the geometrical plan of the buildings. Around the pal- 
ace and its outbuildings rose a small village, where resided the cour- 
tiers and noblemen who did not wish to remove from the court. 

The palace, according to some, was built in the reign of .Sargon, the 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



113 



Salmanazar of the Bible. By excavations there have been uncovered, 
for a distance of over a mile, walls of seventy-eight feet in breadth 
by over ninety-seven in height. On this immense display of surface 
a multitude of bas-reliefs represent the principal events in the reign 
of Sargon. 

Khorsabad possessed also an observatory, consisting of a tower, four 
stories high, in a quite good state of preservation. Built of stones — 
very abundant in the mountains — the cities and monuments of Assyria, 
properly speaking, have been much better preserved than those of 
Mesopotamia, for which 
only very destructible 
materials have been 
employed. The ruins : 

of Khorsabad have en- 
abled scholars to restore .- • ' ~l\ ^ 
in part the history of ' / 
the ancient empire. 

Grimmitschoifer was 
beside himself with joy 
at sight of these treas- ^ 
ures. His misadventure '- 
of the morning was \ 
completely forgotten. 
But what threw him '^" 
altogether into an ecs- 
tasy of Avhich antiqua- 
rians only have the gift, 
was the visit to a large 
cellar which had served -^ 

as a warehouse for an 

iron-merchant. More than 160 tons of iron implements of all shapes 
had been dug out here, which had served for the daily uses of life. 

With the aid of these authentic documents, it would have been easy 
to write a chapter on the private life of the ancients, and to see them 
acting like real beings, and not like fantastic shadows. 

Having caused a few blows with the pick-axe to be made in one 
corner, Grimm had the joy of seeing several new specimens come to 
light. It was necessary to restrain his ardor. If they had listened 
to him, a whole week would have been occupied in digging up the 




J14 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

ground, and they would have taken back several tons of rusty iron 
with them to Mosul. 

Flatnose approached him and, with the greatest coolness imaginable : 

"Your excavations displease Lord Badger," he said to him in a low 
tone. " He is afraid that you might find a dynamo-electric machine 
or a thermo-solar pile amongst this heap of iron, and then, good-bye 
to his ardor and enthusiasm. For if the ancient Ninevites or Babylo- 
nians made use of these machines, he would be nothing but a vile pla- 
giarist, and his pride would not permit him to continue his work." 

On hearing these words, which he was far from taking for a joke, 
Grimm gave a violent start. One might have said that h6 had just 
been struck by lightning. His eyes, fixed on Flatnose, seemed to say : 
" How has he been able to fathom my secret ? " The truth is, that the 
comparative study of Rome and Babylon was but the least of the 
claims which Grimm believed he had to immortality. The principal 
one was the discovery of the rCle which electricity played with the 
ancients. Of that secret Grimm spoke to nobody. He would even 
have feared to commit it to paper, so long as he had not collected all 
the elements of an irrefutable demonstration. 

It will therefore be understood what a blow good Flatnose's inno- 
cent sally of wit had dealt him. Yet he composed himself, notwith- 
standing, and, in an instant, had recovered all his sang-froid. 

The night was passed under the tents, opposite the ruins. Every- 
body was gay and in high spirits, except Miss Koss, on whom these 
perpetual changes of place began to tell ; she was becoming peevish. 
She was no longer in her first youth, nor even, perhaps, in her second. 
It was evident that a comfortable little home — the vision of which 
haunted her more and more — would have much better been her object 
than the position which she occupied with a man, twenty times a mil- 
lionaire, who lived like a prince, and that the mists of the Thames 
would have seemed to her preferable to the most beautiful sunrise on 
the mountains of Assyria. Faithful to her duty, she followed the 
caravan without complaining too much, but also without the least en- 
thusiasm. She seldom left the wagon while they were on the march, 
or the tent while they were in camp. 

Next day, at dawn, they set out for Bavian. It was necessary to 
cross the mountain chain which separates Khorsabad from the latter 
locality. 

The ascent was difficult enough. Miss Hoss had been seated on a 



BABYLON ELECTEIFIED. 115 

mule. The poor woman clung desperately to the beast. At every 
movement of the animal she expected to fall into the ravines or over 
the precipices. At the summit of the Makloub they had a splendid 
view of the valley of the Tigris and the adjoining mountains. 

The descent was rapidly accomplished, and they had soon reached 
the deep gorges in which Bavian is situated. 

The travelers followed a narrow valley overhung on the right and 
left by parallel escarpments. One would not believe oneself to be any 
longer in the Orient, but in a valley of Switzerland or Tyrol. The 
vegetation, completely different from that of the Euphrates, is identical 
with that of the northern countries. The oak, the walnut, and, espe- 
cially, the fir, grow here as in a valley of the Alps. 

Suddenly they find themselves opposite to a high wall of limestone, 
on which colossal figures were cut out in relief, still perfectly pre- 
served. The various inscriptions which accompany these figures per- 
mit them to be attributed with certainty to the epoch of Sennacherib. 
As to their intent, it is probable that they were destined to perpetuate, 
throughout the centuries, the fame of the Ninevite monarchs. 

At a later period caves have been dug in these rocks and have 
served as dwellings for human beings. These troglodytes were prob- 
ably Christians of the first centuries, who sought a refuge from perse- 
cution, or joined to lead a cenobitic life in common. Without respect 
for these ancient monuments, they have perforated the heads, the 
bodies, the emblems. It would be useless to ask whether this mutila- 
tion excited Grimm's indignation. He delivered an eloquent philippic 
against these ignorant Christians, who had never understood anything 
of the ancient myths and symbols, and saw everywhere idolatrous 
images to destroy. He sent them to the devil, these poor people who 
perhaps had acted thus only in the hope of meriting heaven. 

But this immense bas-relief was not the greatest curiosity of the 
valley. The guide conducted the party a few hundred steps farther, 
to the bottom of a narrow defile, dark and damp, where, a short time 
before, the entrance to a still unexplored grotto had been discovered. 
What a godsend for an archaeologist ! What might he not discover in 
the bowels of the earth ! 

It was the English consul at Mosul who had informed Badger of 
this recent discovery, and if the latter had eagerly welcomed the pro- 
ject of an excursion to Bavian, it was especially with a view to being 
the first to explore this cavern. The Englishman has with him always 



Jig BABYLON ELECTKIFIED. 

and ever^'whcre the preoccupation of asserting— on no matter what 
soil— the supremacy of England. As he had the good fortune to 
have just at hand a true savant— in spite of all his eccentricities and 
faults, this title could not be denied Grimmitschoffer— Lord Badger 
had decided to profit by this in order to learn whether there was really 
occasion for undertaking serious excavations in th* grotto, in which 
case he would not have failed to inform his government, and thus 
secure for it an initiatory part in this kind of discovery in which to- 
day all the civilized nations of Europe are strongly interested. 

They had therefore provided themselves with torches and with the 
implements necessary in such cases, and it had been decided that they 
all should enter into the grotto, and that every one should take part in 
the researches. The entrance to the cave was narrow. But, after a 
few steps of rapid descent on an inclined and muddy ground, the gal- 
lery became higher and wider. A sharp current of air met the face, 
and confused noises were heard in the distance. 

The unknown attracts us irresistibly, and the vague awe which it 
inspires has something to do with this attraction. It was unanimously 
decided that the grotto should be explored in every direction. ' Miss 
Ross did not share the general opinion ; she stopped suddenly and de- 
clared flatly that she would not go another step forward. 

" Very ^vell," said Badger to her, " you can go back to the entrance 
of the grotto and await our return. We shall return in two hours at 
the most ; you wdll be better off up there than with us." 

Miss Ross did not wait to be told this twice ; she turned back and 
had soon regained the mouth of the cave. 

The exploration continued ; the passages succeeded each other with- 
out interruption. They then directed their steps in the direction 
whence the sounds seemed to come, which they continued to hear. 
They thus came to a large hall, from the roof of which hung magnifi- 
cent stalactites, assuming the most varying and strange forms. Long 
colonnades, massive pillars, fonts, statues, could be perceived in an 
endless depth. The light of the torches, reflected on the facet of every 
crystal, caused thousands of sparkling jets to flash from it. You 
might have fancied yourself transported, as in some marvelous fairy- 
scene, into subterranean palaces inhabited by the genii of the planet. 

" How beautiful it is !" was the simultaneous exclamation of the two 
young girls, who were holding each other by the hand. 

As to Grimm, he admired nothing of that which won the admira- 



BABYLON ELECTEIFIED. 117 

tion of the others. To tell the truth, the beauties of nature had but 
little fascination for him ; the only thing which seriously interested 
him was to investigate what humanity had done, believed and thought 
in the most remote epochs of its existence on this earth. His eye 
scrutinized all nooks and corners ; his hand, armed now with a pike, 
now with a pickaxe, examined all the fissures in the walls, all the 
swellings of the ground. 

"What!'' cried he, "not an inscription — not a tomb — no trace 
whatever of the passage and the voice of man ! Was this grotto then 
unknown to the ancient inhabitants of these regions as well as to the 
present ones ? " 

After having searched the immense hall in all directions, they en- 
tered a new series of galleries. They passed through several more 
halls, smaller than the first, each offering some new natural curiosity, 
but no indication of human industry. 

As they advanced, the air grew damper, the noises more distinct, 
and it became easy to discover that the cause which produced them 
was the fall of a cascade. In fact, on issuing from a passage which 
Avas so low that it was almost necessary to crawl in order to reach its 
end, the explorers found themselves before a kind of abyss, at the far- 
ther end of which an impetuous torrent rushed furiously down. They 
advanced cautiously, clinging to the arms of the guides, along a wet 
and slippery bank which led close to the waterfall. The current of 
air was so strong as to almost extinguish the torches. 

Monaghan took a Beugal light from his pocket and set fire to it. 
In the brilliant light of this piece of firework it Avas possible to take 
a survey of the whole of the cavern. During the few minutes that 
the illumination lasted, every one was in raptures. When everything 
Avas once more env^eloped in comparative darkness under the dim light 
Avhich the torches threw out, a sepulchral voice was heard to murmur 
in a disconsolate tone : 

" Nothing ! still nothing !" 

Nothing further remained to do but to retrace their steps and regain 
the entrance of the grotto. If the exploration had not been fortunate 
from an archaeological standpoint, from a picturesque point of view it 
had been Avanting neither in interest nor in unforeseen views. In 
order to perpetuate its remembrance, and to secure for the antiquaries 
of the fortieth or the fiftieth century the pleasure of deciphering at 
least one inscription, they cut on one of the interior walls, with the 



118 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



point of a knife, the names of the visitors who, on such a day of the 
month, in the year of graxje 18—, had been the first to explore the 

grotto to the falls, and vhad 
given it the name of Victoria. 
Three hours after having 
penetrated tinto the cave, our 
tourists were assembled again 
at its entrance. Miss Ross 
was no longer there. They 
called for her several times, 
but in vain. 

They thought that she had 
found herself inconvenienced 
by the dampness, and that 
they should certainly meet 
her, in ascending the valley, 
near to the wall with the bas- 
reliefs. Miss Ross was not 
there, however. 

They now began to be very 
uneasy as to the fate of the 
good miss. What could have 
happened to her? Wild 
beasts? There were none in 
that region. Thieves, brig- 
ands? Perhaps she had lost 
her way — taken a wrong 
road. All the surrounding 
thickets were scoured; every 
corner of the rocks was 
searched. The rest of the 
day was employed in the 
search, but in vain ; night 
came on, and Miss Ross was 
still not found. 

They rejoined the rest of 
the escort where they had left it the day before, and camped again 
m the open air, but they were on their guard. The disappearance 
of the governess showed that the country was not safe. They might 




BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



119 



be attacked unawares. No new incident, however, arrived to trouble 
the rest of the travelers, and the night passed quietly. 

At daybreak, the search began anew, with no more success than on 
the preceding day. Everybody was really distressed. The disap- 
pearance of Miss Ross was the first tragic event that had happened to 
the expedition. Misfortunes never come singly, says the proverb. 
Flatnose, more afflicted even than the others, concluded from this that 
they were about to enter upon a series of misfortunes. 

It was now useless to prolong the search. It became evident that 
Miss Ross was no longer in the neighborhood. The only expedient 
was therefore to return to Mosul and inform the English consul, so 
that, in concert with the native authorities, he might take all necessary 
measures to find the unfortunate governess again. 

The stay at Mosul could be no longer extended, however. The 
caravan was ready. Badger decided to start two days later and join 
Jack Adams. As they had to come back to Mosul in a few weeks, 
Miss Ross was to await the return of the caravan at the English 
consulate. 





CHAPTER XIII. 

THE HYDRAULIC WORKS. 

On leaving Mosul the caravan 
followed an uneven road over 
hills, soon to descend again into 
deep valleys. They were quite 

ongh which it rushed were too 



id,r from the Tigris, for the ravines 
narrow and too steep to leave free passage. 

They penetrated deeper and deeper into a mountainous country. 
The peaks became sharper, the summits steeper and they were ap- 
proaching the limit of perpetual snow. At times, while passing over 
a high neck, the cold was felt. Fields of snow were crossed in which 
beasts and men sank to the knees. 

On the second evening they encamped on a furrowed and creviced 
(120) 



I 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 121 

/ 

plateau. At a little distance the Tigris roared at the bottom of a 
precipice. Grimm announced that they were on the site of Eski- 
Mosul, that is to say old Mosul. 

After leaving the plateau of Eski-Mosul, the road descends rapidly. 
At the horizon an immense plain is seen, through which the Tigris 
winds, escaped from the long series of defiles. 

A few hours after they reached the river again and followed its 
banks. The temperature had become spring-like again ; the grass and 
the flowers reappeared. 

In the distance, in the mists of the evening, a city seemed to rise 
from the bosom of the waters ; it was Jezireh-Ibn-Omer, built on 
an island, or rather on an isolated rock, in the middle of the Tigris. 

The city lies at the foot of an old fortress, which rises proudly on 
the summit of a mount formed by regular layers of black basalt and 
white marble. An old bridge in ruins adds to the picturesqueness of 
the landscape. 

The caravan encamped on the banks of the Tigris, opposite to the 
city already sunk in sleep. Everybody was cheerful ; they had ar- 
rived at the site of the first works. !N^ext day they would certainly 
meet Jack Adams again, from whom they had been separated for so 
long a time. 

At the first glimmer of dawn next day the caravan set oiF again in 
order to reach the works before noon. The mountains drew nearer 
again rapidly from the north, the plain was transformed into more 
undulating ground. Finally, at about eleven o'clock, at the bot- 
tom of a charming valley, delightfully shaded by fruit-trees and 
corniferous trees, they perceived a structure of European appearance — 
it was the hydraulic works. 

The approach of the caravan must have been announced by the 
workmen at the works, for Jack Adams came running at full speed 
to meet them ; the arrival of Lord Badger transported him with joy. 

They all dismounted, and, handing the reins to the men of the 
escort, pressed around the engineer. 

Yes, they felt a very great joy in seeing him again, brave and 
courageous Jack Adams. He had had to battle against men and 
against the elements ; but he had emerged victorious from the con- 
flict. He possessed the tenacity which makes men of action. Badger 
had bid him to succeed, and he had succeeded. 

The first hydraulic works were completed. Next day they could 



122 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

make the turbines turn and transform the power of the water into 
electricity. 

As they walked along, Jack Adams told of his battles, his labors, 
his hopes. They had also many events to tell him of. He had been 
struck at once by the absence of Miss Koss ; her disappearance seemed 
to him inexplicable. He knew already through the letters of his 
friends all that concerned Fatma, but he was ignorant of the dis- 
covery of Grimm. 

They approached the European house which served as a dwelling 
for the hands at the works. Built at the foot of a gently sloping 
mamelon, it was sheltered by a kind of copse. A fine lawn of an 
emerald green extended to the banks of the Tigris, whose torrent-like 
waters rolled along at a little distance. 

To the branches of some trees whitish balls were fixed, which were 
found to be cocoons. 

" So you raise silk- worms, too ? " Miss Nelly asked the engineer. 

" They raise themselves," replied the latter. " These are wild silk- 
worms, which live on a kind of evergreen. The silk which they pro- 
duce is not by far as fine and as soft as that of their domesticated 
congeners. Nevertheless, the women of the country use it for weav- 
ing very strong stuffs. It is an indication which might perhaps be 
turned to account. By planting a large number of evergreens the 
number of silkworms which live on these trees would likewise be 
multiplied, and a textile material would be produced which would 
cost but the labor of manufacturing it." 

They entered the house. The construction was extremely simple, 
the furniture of wood. The utensils necessary for a household of six 
men, books, maps, tools and instruments, that is all that met the eyes 
of the newcomers. But each object was in its place ; there was nothing 
that did not present a picture of order and neatness. 

Every one had made efforts to receive Lord Badger and his party in 
a worthy manner. The pleasantest room in the house, as might have 
been expected, had been reserved for the ladies. In the absence of 
sumptuous ornaments, this chamber, which Miss Nelly was to share 
with Fatraa, was profusely decorated with garlands of leaves and 
flowers. A delicate attention by which his lordship's daughter was 
visibly touched. 

Jack Adams had given up his room to Badger ; the others and he 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



123 



himself were to sleep on camp-beds in the only room which remained 
available, or in the store-rooms, in the 
annexes of the hydraulic works. 

The luncheon was short; they 
were anxious to inspect the placing 
of the turbines and of the electric 
machines. Immediately after they 
had taken their coffee, they rose from 
the table and declared to the engineer 
that they were ready to follow him. 
Grimm himself showed almost as 
much eagerness as if the most improb- 
able of ruins had been in question. 

They took a small shaded path 
through the woods. Five hundred 
steps farther on, they arrived at the 
banks of a kind of mill-race formed |^ 
by the river, which, a hundred yards 
farther to the right, descended in a 
cascade along a narrow gorge — an 
excavation, rather — cutting the moun- 
tain tliroughout its whole breadth. 

At the entrance of the defile, every 
one stopped to admire the waterfall. 
The Tigris fell in cascades, white with 
foam, and filling the air with a deaf- 
ening roar. 

On raising the eyes, a building was 
perceived constructed above the abyss, 
and suspended over the raging waters. 
It was the works. 

It must be acknowledged that 
Jack Adams had known how to 
choose a favorable spot. The dam- 
ming of the Tigris had been easily 
accomplished, and they were certain 
of having a considerable power at 
their disposal. 

Nothing could be more picturesque than these works, perched above 




124 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

the torrent, clir«appearing almost amid the masses which overhung it. 
Jack Adams did the honors of his establishment. The arrangement 
of the work and of the machines was admired. On the following 
day, moreover, they were to see the whole in motion, and would be 
able to judge of the perfection of the work. 

" Until to-morrow, then,'' said Badger. " We shall^eturn to admire 
your establishment. Works are beautiful only in motion. When at 
rest, they seem like a dead body, and inspire only sadness." 

Jack Adams proposed that they should continue the promenade a 
little farther and go up the defile for a thousand yards or so. They 
could not go higher, for the path ended completely. The proposition 
was, however, accepted with enthusiasm. 

The road which they followed had a slight but continued ascent. 
They walked along the torrent, which roared loudly and rolled its 
waters through a chaos of fallen rocks, sinking deeper and deeper into 
the bowels of the earth. 

All along the path the young girls picked a large number of small 
flowers, quite new to them, and the names of which Monaghan told 
them directly. Nothing could be more delicate than their serrated 
leaves — nothing more fragrant than their perfume. 

By an acoustical phenomenon somewhat difficult to explain, the ear, 
in spite of the uproar of the cascades, could distinctly hear the slightest 
noises, even to the song of the birds, even to the humming of the in- 
sects, as if, in the grand action of nature, the most humble lives were 
to preserve their individuality. 

The landscape was sublime. On all sides there were steep walls, 
entirely covered with long black firs, clinging to the rough rock and 
thrusting their roots into the smallest fissures. The distance made 
them appear smaller and smaller, and those which covered the summit 
seemed no longer any more than a few inches in height. 

As to the walls, they rose -to prodigious heights, reaching at least 
from a thousand to twelve hundred feet. Over the abyss, the awed 
eye beheld still higher peaks,'which were lost in the clouds. This 
sjiectacle is so grand, that no one who has not seen it can have any 
adequate conception of it, even with the most faithful description. 
Only a painter— and what a painter must he be !— would be able to 
reproduce these tints of so tender a green, these plays of light, these 
fantastic shadows which fill the bottom of the gorge. The sun, still 
brilliant, but very much inclined towards the horizon, lit up the sum- 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



125 








mils with its intense light, and projected broad shadows at the base 
of the peaks. At the farther end of the 
defile, an enormous mountain, entirely 
white, appeared in the majesty of it- 
slender forms. 

If the gaze, instead of being directed 
upwards, was lowered towards the ground, 
the spectacle was no less sublime. From 
the pathway to the Tigris there was an 
immense accumulation of rocks, above 
which the firs spread their sombre foliage. 

They had arrived at the end of the 
path. There, the rocks drawing closer 
together and overhanging the abyss, they ' 
had to retrace their steps. It was, besides, 
time to return to the house. Night 
comes on quickly in the gorges of th( 
mountain; and, with night, the chilly aii 
of the summits invades the depths. Oiu- 
travelers were able to avoid night and 
cold ; they arrived at the dwelling, actu- 
ally famished. A good dinner awaited 
them, and they did it credit. 

The next day was to be an important 
one for the members of the association. 
The inauguration of the works was the 
first tangible result, the first step toward- 
the completion of the whole work. 

At eight o'clock they took again the 
road already followed the day before. '>2^-^'' 
The morning was splendid ; the sun shone 
in a cloudless sky. The mild temperature 
promised a fine spring day. In tiiese 
high mountain gorges the climate ap- 
proached that of southern Europe. 

The workmen were already at their 
posts. When Badger and his compan- 
ions were collected in the machine-room, 
Jack Adams gave a signal. The sluices were immediately opened ; 




,26 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

the water, now falling with its full weight on the turbines, set the 
whole mechanism in motion. The wheels turned with an astonish- 
ing rapidity, the leather belts whistled in passing from one pulley to 
another ; the rings of the dynamo-electric machines, turning with a 
fearful rapidity between the arms of the electro-magnets, gave their 
peculiar humming sound. • 

But it was not these details, surprising for the common run of peo- 
ple, which at this moment held the attention of those present. Col- 
lected in a corner of the room, they all followed anxiously with their 
eyes a small instrument hung against the wall. For this instrument 
was a dynamometer, intended to give the measure of the electric force 
produced by the machines. 

Now, according to the calculation, it was necessary that this electric 
force should reach a fixed minimum in order that the current might 
be transmitted from the works at Jezireh to the central works at 
Babylon. It can therefore be imagined what must have been the 
anxiety of all the spectators. If the minimum was not reached, if 
Jack Adams had erred in his calculations, this important part of the 
enterprise would have to be abandoned. They would have to give up 
the idea of transporting the power of the waterfalls in the mountains 
to Babylon. 

They did not have long to wait. At the end of a few minutes, 
during which the turbine took on a uniform movement and the dy- 
namo-electric machine became surcharged by magnetization, the dyna- 
mometer, after a few oscillations, stopped at a fixed point. 

"Forty-eight," cried Jack Adams, in a voice which showed his 
inner emotion. 

" Won !" replied Badger. It was sufficient to reach forty. 

And, his face showing no outward sign of the least emotion, but 
with a fervor which showed his joy, he shook Jack Adams vigorously 
by the hand. 

They were delighted with the brilliant success gained by the en- 
gineer. Indeed, during the whole duration of the meal, at which 
Badger, his companions and the employes of the works were united 
around the same table, the experiments of the morning formed the sole 
topic of the general conversation. 

Green, the famous, the model cook, had surpassed himself for the 
occasion. He had made a trip to Jezireh the day before, and had 
bought exquisite poultry and the most savory fruits of the country. 



I 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 127 

For money, everything that is desired can be had in any part of the 
world ; and we know that money was least wanting in his lordship's 
party. 

At the end of the meal toasts succeeded each other without inter- 
ruption. They were brought to Badger, to Jack Adams, to Mona- 
ghan. Even Flatnose and Grimmitschoffer were not forgotten ; the 
first, on account of the admirable account which he had written on the 
spot, at the foot of the electric machine, and which was destined to 
bring joy or consternation to the admirers of Lord Badger's attempt 
or to those jealous of him ; the second, because of his extraordinary 
adventures, which would one day cover his name with glory. 

The series of toasts was ended, when Badger rose and said : 

" To the health of Cornille ! We must not forget the absent one. 
Like Jack Adams, Cornille will succeed and will also have his hour 
of victory.'' 

Miss Nelly raised her glass like all the rest, which did not prevent 
Fatma from noticing that her young friend had blushed slightly when 
her father uttered the name of the Frenchman. 

" My dear Mr. Adams," said Badger, addressing the engineer, " will 
you please to tell us now where you have located your other works ? 
Is the work advanced, and do you expect soon to inaugurate them?" 

" My lord," replied the engineer, " I have ascended the Tigris to its 
sources, and have found suitable sites for three new works. The first 
is situated at the confluent Botan-Soo, near a village called Schebleh ; 
the second is at Bodia, on the Batman-Soo. As to the third, it stands 
higher up, at Egil, on the Tigris itself. The constructions are far ad- 
vanced, for they were begun shortly after that of these works. The 
results obtained here this morning prove to me that the three other 
works will give still better results, for the turbines employed are more 
powerful. I wanted first to try the least powerful machine, certain, 
after that, of success with better apparatus." 

'^ It is well," said Badger, " and I congratulate you on your courage 
and your intrepidity in overcoming all obstacles. Well, gentlemen," 
added his lordship, rising from the table, " I see that there are still 
bright times in store for science ! " 

A few days of rest were necessary before facing new hardships, in a 
hilly and still little known country. It was decided, therefore, to 
remain for a further part of the week at the hydraulic works. 

The happiest of all during this halt was Grimmitschoffer. One 



128 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

evening the celebrated archaeologist was at last able to read his manu- 
script. Wliile Flatnose was sleeping in a corner of the common room, 
Badger thinking of his projects, Miss Nelly and Fatma chatting softly 
of that which young girls talk about, Grimmitschoifer slowly and rev- 
erently read his manuscript. His reading lasted over an hour. When 
it was ended at last. Badger congratulated him ani assured him that 
this work would be the delight of all the scientific societies of Europe 
and America. 

" My dear sir," added his lordship, " you will be honored by the 
academies and named a corresponding member on your return to 
Europe." 

Grimm was consequently under the influence of the deepest joy. 
His fairest dreams were to be realized, and he beheld himself finally 
arrived at the pinnacle of glory. 

Badger and the two young girls loved to watch Jack Adams' work. 







They often passed whole hours sitting on the banks of the Tigris, of 
which they heard the distant roaring among the rocks. Nothing 
charms the imagination like this music of the waters. One can dream 
on the banks of torrents as well as on the shores of the sea. 

Jack Adams was often questioned by his lordship's curious daughter. 
She absolutely desired to know what kind of a turbine had been placed 
in the works. 

"But, Miss Badger," replied the engineer, "that cannot interest 
you." 

"On the contrary," said she, "you cannot believe how much I ad- 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 129 

mire these chefs-d^oeuvr-e of mechanism. You cannot imagine, Mr. 
Engineer, that a young girl should be fond of science ? In the opinion 
of men, a miss thinks only of her toilette and of frivolous things. 
That is a mistake, you see. Young girls are also able to take a lively 
interest in that which is grand and beautiful. My father has under- 
taken a gigantic work. He is surrounded by courageous men. I 
admire you and delight in your conflicts with matter." 

" How handsome she is," said Jack Adams to himself, bewitched 
by the inspired air of the young girl. 

Her eyes had grown brighter since her sojourn in the Orient. Her 
pale cheeks were tinged with a deeper carmine. The life in the open 
air had developed her supple body ; far from injuring her, the wan- 
derings in the desert and in the mountains had added a new charm to 
her attractiveness, already so great before. 
9 




CHAPTER Xiy. 



ACEOSS THE HIGH MOUNTAINS. 



The caravan is again at Mosul, and is preparing to leave for the 
mountains of Kurdistan. Sadness is depicted on every countenance. 

What can have happened ? The fact is that at the moment when 
we find our travelers again, Badger has brought them bad news. He 
has returned from the English consulate, and it has been impossible to 
find any trace of Miss Eoss. Yet the most active search was insti- 
tuted. The surroundings of the grotto were searched ; the few in- 
habitants of the neighboring villages were questioned. Useless labor : 
it had been impossible to find her, living or dead ; nobody has heard 
anything of her. 

They had to resign themselves, therefore, and give up the poor gov- 
erness as lost. She was the first innocent victim of the enterprise, 
(130) 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 131 

They lamented her sincerely. Good and obliging, in spite of her 
peevish manner, she left a void difficult to fill. 

Miss Nelly lost in her a devoted friend, who had replaced her 
mother as to cares and attentions. Badger was moved more deeply 
than he wished to have appear. But the most afflicted was Flatnose. 
We have not forgotten that Miss Eoss shared the bottom of the large 
provision wagon with the journalist. There, a little romance had 
begun, which, if not as dramatic as that of Romeo and Juliet, would 
nevertheless have been concluded in London by a happy marriage. 

Some good news had in a certain measure counterbalanced the bad. 
Badger had brought with him from the consulate a long letter from 
Babylon. There was excellent news ; everything was going on as one 
could wish. Cornille announced that the buildings of the works on 
the Kasr and on Babel were rising up visibly. Captain Laycock had 
been seen again, with a load of machines. He had immediately left 
again for the Tigris, which he was going to ascend as far as possible, 
to bring the last turbines intended for the hydraulic works erected by 
Jack Adams. 

Cornille had added a few pleasant words for Miss Nelly and her 
little friend Fatma. This good news, and Cornill^'s remembrance, 
caused Miss Nelly to forget somewhat the disappearance of her gov- 
erness. 

Badger and his companions were now going to travel through wild 
countries, even more mountainous than those of the upper Tigris. 
Few Europeans had been able to penetrate among the unsubjected 
hordes of the Kurds. This people, similar to the Montenegrins, have 
contrived to live in an almost complete independence in the midst of 
the most terrible emigrations and of the invasions of the Asiatic or 
European conquerors. Isolated within their mountain walls and on 
high plateaux, the waves of the inundations have dashed powerlessly 
against the granite rocks which formed their dwellings. 

It was necessary to visit these countries, for it was there that they 
were to find the most powerful water-falls. The snowy summits of 
the mountains send innumerable impetuous torrents down into the 
plain. There could as yet be no question of constructing hydraulic 
works amidst this hostile population. But, in the near future. Badger 
hoped to remove the difficulties and to place his turbines there in all 
security. 

A twofold object was thus pursued by visiting the mountains of 



132 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

Kurdistan. They were going to explore an unknown country, visit 
the torrents and water-falls, and prepare the placing of the future 
works. As to the second aim, it was to open negotiations with the 
chiefs of the tribes and to obtain their authorization to place turbines 
in their countiy. 

Badger was almost certain of gaining this latter object with facility. 
He counted for that on the instinct of these primitive races, which 
impels them to accept with enthusiasm everything that is capable of 
ameliorating their material condition. Besides, would they not behold 
these wonders of science with a superstitious terror? When, with 
electricity, torrents of water drawn at the springs would be sent through 
their kanots ; * when, with this fluid, they would be lighted and warmed, 
would they not bow before the power of Allah ? 

But we are leaving the caravan to penetrate among the Zebari Kurds 
and quietly ascend the Greater Zab. At Amadiah, Badger had a long 
interview with the patriarch of the Chaldeans, in the famous monas- 
tery of Raban-Ormuz. The patriarch ])romised his protection, and 
that he would use all his influence in the country for furthering his 
lordship^s projects. From there they went to Julamerk, a populous 
centre, where Badger had a very important conference w^ith the prin- 
cipal chiefs of the country. Finally, descending the same river again, 
the caravan proceeded to Rowandiz, where we now find them. 

Rowandiz occupies an immense surface on a deeply cleft soil. Its 
numerous flat-roofed houses, assuming a cubic form, descend to the 
bottom of the ravines in a curious confusion, to rise higher again on 
the opposite slope. One might fancy that one were beholding the re- 
mains of a gigantic avalanche of blocks of stone, tumbled down from 
the summits of the neighboring mountains. The heat makes itself 
strongly felt here in summer. The inhabitants then retire to the roofs, 
which are sheltered against the rays of the sun by thick curtains of 
foliage. 

When the caravan entered into the city, it was market day. The 
bazaars were crowded" by a busy throng. Rowandiz is a thoroughfare 
for the caravans which go from Mesopotamia to Persia ; therefore this 
place is of great importance from a commercial point of view. Much 
tobacco of a good quality is also raised here, which is sold powdered, 

* The kanots are underground conduits which serve to transport to a distance the 
water drawn from the springs of the mountain. 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 133 

and from the oaks in the vicinity gall-nuts are gathered, which are 
exported to Europe. 

On leaving Rowandiz, they were going to enter a series of wild 
ravines, of difficult and even perilous access. The guide affirmed that 
they would yet meet with immense masses of snow, ^o matter, they 
must advance and descend into the valley of the Lesser Zab, from 
which they were separated only by a ridge that could be crossed in 
two days. 

During the whole morning the path offered no serious difficulty. 
They wound around the base of broad conical layers, produced by the 
centenary accumulation of the detritus descended from the surrounding 
summits. These cones were covered with a rich vegetation of oaks, 
of birches, and, especially, of coniferous trees. The pines and firs 
attained a height and a thickness that were at times extraordinary. 

Water was abundant. They frequently met with brooks running 
down the slopes, murmuring among the trees of the forest, which 
crossed the path and were then lost in the unknown depths of the 
ravines. 

At about eleven o'clock, as they were proceeding comfortably on 
level ground, well shaded with trees, they came across a cool spring 
which gushed out from the base of a rock. It was decided to make a 
halt at that spot and to take luncheon. 

While Green, assisted by the scullions, was starting a good fire, in- 
tended for roasting a rib of mutton. Badger and the other travelers 
were resting, seated on a row of flat stones. 

The conversation turned on the electric wires, destined to connect 
the various works with the central works of Babylon. In fact, similar 
to an immense spider-web, which was to extend over Mesopotamia, a 
large number of wires were to start from the mountains of the north 
and of the east to concentrate all the electricity of the hydraulic works 
on the summit of the kasr. 

" Our wires,'' said Jack Adams at this point, " will be underground. 
If we should stretch them on posts, they would be too much exposed 
to the inclemencies of the weather, to the storms, and, above all, to the 
vandalism of some excited fanatics ! Buried beneath the ground, they 
will be completely protected from these causes of destruction." 

" It will be a long job," observed Monaghan. 

''With time and money," replied Badger, "everything is accom- 
plished." 



,34 BABYLON ELECTEIFIED. 

''That is true, my lord," replied the geologist. 

"The work must be already begun," resumed the engineer. "In 
six months or more Babylon will be connected with the works at 
Jezireh. The Davy and the Faraday have returned to England to 
bring their cargo of wires and machines. They must be back by this 
time, and the workmen are at work at Babylon." ♦ 

"Admirable! admirable!" cried Grimmitschoifer, enraptured by 
the last words of Jack Adams. " Electricity is certainly the most 
beautiful of all the sciences !" 

"After archaeology, however," said Flatnose, patting the savant on 
the shoulder. 

The latter turned around furiously, but his wrath was quickly ap- 
peased ; he had too great a disdain for so ignorant a journalist as Flat- 
nose. The others burst out laughing, and Grimm thought that this 
laughter was intended for Flatnose, and not for him. 

When the meal was finished, the guide informed the travelers that 
they were in the neighborhood of rich lead and copper mines. That 
was Monaghan's aifair. It was immediately decided that all who 
were willing should go in search of these mines. When the 'little 
party was formed, it ascended the path for about two hundred yards, 
to a half dried-up torrent, the pebbly bed of which they had to follow 
for several minutes. 

Monaghan, Jack Adams, Miss Nelly, and Fatma, the only persons 
of which the little troupe of geologists was composed, not including 
the guide, each held a little hammer in the hand for breaking the 
rocks and ascertaining their nature. 

At last they stopped. The guide made them climb the steep slopes 
of the right bank of the torrent. Clinging to the trees and to the 
projecting points of rock, the first aiding those who followed, they 
were soon collected at the foot of a high grayish wall. 

Detaching a fragment by a smart blow of his hammer, Monaghan 
showed his companions a heavy mass, with a bright glitter as of lead 
lately cut. They could not make a mistake in view of these distinc- 
tive characteristics. They had before them an enormous vein of 
galena, very easy to extract. 

They descended again, and the guide caused the travelers once more 
to enter the bed of the torrent. Jumping from stone to stone, two 
hundred yards farther on they reached a clayey bank, which they had 
much trouble in climbing. The slippery ground gave no support. 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 135 

The guide, more agile, was the first to reach the top of the slope, and 
held out his staff to Monaghan. The latter, in turn, assisted the 
young girls to get up. As to Jack Adams, who was the last, he 
wanted to climb the bank alone. But he came to grief; for, his foot 
slipping from under him, he slipped and drenched his legs in the water 
of the brook. They laughed heartily at his little mishap. Accepting 
now the aid of the staif which Monaghan held out to him, the engineer 
had quickly rejoined his companions. 

Entering a copse, the guide conducted the party towards an escarp- 
ment of a reddish color. This was an iron mine, composed of red 
hematite. Monaghan broke oif a specimen which he put in his bag 
with that of the galena. The spot in which they were formed a sort 
of clearing. Jack Adams proposed that they should rest for ten 
minutes before returning to join Badger. There happened to be here 
some large stones on which they could sit down. The ten minutes 
past, Fatma was the first to rise, and, laughing merrily, the little mad- 
cap cried : 

*^ I'm going to break my seat with my hammer !" 

Then, giving a blow with the instrument on the stone which had 
served her as a seat, she caused a large piece to fly off. It fell at 
Monaghan's feet. He quickly picked up this fragment. After having 
examined it for an instant, he cried : 

" Why, this is copper ore ! It's malachite ! " 

In truth, Fatma had just broken that precious and rare stone which 
is used for manufacturing vases, clock-stands, ornaments of every kind. 

The geologist was struck by the idea of breaking his seat also. A 
general amazement : this was also a block of malachite. Then there 
was a frenzy for destruction. All, armed with their hammers, began 
to break, not only their seats of a minute before, but also all the sur- 
rounding stones. They had to submit to the evidence : it was always 
the same copper ore. 

Monaghan, desiring to conceal the value of the discovery before the 
guide, said that this ore was poor and without value. The trouble 
was unnecessary, however, for the Kurds had no inclination to work 
these metalliferous deposits. These treasures were awaiting the arrival 
of the Europeans to be converted into iron, lead, copper, or ornamental 
stones. 

" To horse, gentlemen ! " cried Badger, as soon as our geologist had 



136 



BABYLON ELECTEIFIED. 



rejoined the rest of the caravan. " The way is long, and we must not 
lose time if we wish to arrive at a camping-ground to-night." 

The ravine which they left on their left hand grew deeper at every 
step, while the sides of the rocks rose on the right to a dizzy height. 
Their progress was impeded by the presence of pebbles which rolled 
under the feet of men and horses. ^ 

For two hours they thus passed around the base of a lesser chain • 
then they entered a deep hollow which had to be ascended 
in oixler to reach the highest point of the axis of the 
mountain. Several torrents rushed from the top of 
the mountains, through this furrow, down into 
the lower valleys. Swollen by the recent rains, 
the waters were overflowing and tumultuous. The 
passage of these 
torrents could 
not be effected 
without • some 
difficulty, and 
even danger. At 
one of them it 
was necessary to 
dismount. The 
men of the es- 
cort pulled up 
big stones on the 
banks of the 
torrent and ar- 
ranged them 
dexterously in 
the midst of the 
foaming waters. 

The men passed over easily. As to the horses and mules, half in 
the water, half on the stones, they also succeeded in crossing the diffi- 
cult passage. 

At five o'clock, the roar of a cascade was heard quite near by. A 
quarter of an hour later the caravan passed out on a sort of bare pro- 
montory. The forest ceased suddenly at this spot. On the opposite 
side a gigantic jet of water rebounded from rock to rock and was 
swallowed up in a deep basin three hundred feet below^ the promon- 




BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 137 

tory. The cascade might have been some nine hundred feet in height, 
which would place the beginning of the falls at about six hundred feet 
above the heads of the spectators. 

The scene was truly wonderful. To the left of the cascade, the 
mountain rose perpendicularly to a height of from fifteen hundred to 
eighteen hundred feet. The cliffs, of a reddish tint, were entirely bare, 
without the least trace of verdure. To the right, the horizon became 
somewhat 'enlarged, at a greater height. A sort of gorge was seen, 
hemmed in by two walls of a greenish tint. These variations in color 
gave the place a strange appearance. It was conjectured that, at the 
time when the mountain had taken origin in consequence of a frightful 
commotion of the earth, this spot had been the centre of some subter- 
ranean irruption. And in fact, Monaghan picked up some stones and 
declared that these cliffs were in a great measure composed of am- 
phibole. Now, amphibole characterizes the rocks of lower origin, 
issued from the interior of the earth's crust. 

When they turned their backs on the cascade, which made a deafen- 
ing uproar, the view extended into the distance over the mountains and 
the plains through which wound the Greater Zab. What a panorama ! 
The eye looked down over an immense expanse. The sun, already 
standing very low in the west, left the plain in comparative shadow, 
while the distant mountains and the surrounding summits were tinged 
with the brightest of colors. 

The guide regarded the horizon with an anxious eye. 

" There is going to be a storm this evening," said he. 

This announcement was received with an incredulous air. The sky 
seemed clear ; no cloud could be seen in the distance. Yet the sagacity 
of the mountaineers is well known : they are but rarely mistaken in 
prognostics of this kind. The color of the rocks, the temperature of 
the air, the intensity of the light, a thousand nothings which the 
stranger does not notice, are for them infallible signs. 

" From what do you know that there will be a storm ? " asked Jack 
Adams. 

" The base of the mountains, at the level of the plain," replied the 
guide, " is clouded in vapors." 

" Which proves," said Monaghan immediately, " that there is a layer 
of cold air above the warmer air of the plain. We shall therefore 
have rain, it is to be feared." 

" Let us ascend," resumed the guide. " In twenty minutes we shall 



J38 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

have reached the top of the cascade. There we shall be sheltered from 
the wind in a charming valley, and you can raise your tents in all 
security." 

The caravan therefore continued its ascent, which was difficult during 
these twenty minutes. The path turned back several times on itself, 
overhanging the sides of the cascade at a perilous height. The horses 
slipi)ed and did not know where to set their feet. A fall would have 
been fotal. They were obliged to ascend on foot, leading the animals 
by the bridle. 

But what a delight when they arrived on top ! They trod on a 
tender and bright green grass, dotted with innumerable small flowers 
of the most varied colors. It was paradise after the infernal regions. 
A brook wound luxuriously through this turf, not suspecting what 
fate awaited it a few yards lower down. It was this brook, in fact, 
which gave rise to the cascade. 

Right and left of the grass-land the mountains rose perpendicularly. 
They followed the brook ; ten minutes later they reached the farther 
end of the little plain. There, sheltered from the wind, they raised 
the tents and made preparations for passing the night. 

The guide's prognostication was already being realized. The air 
grew gradually darker, and the rumbling of thunder was soon heard 
in the distance. In spite of the threatening sky, Badger, the young 
girls, Monaghan and Jack Adams went back to the edge of the grass- 
land, to the place where the brook fell in a cascade. They wished to 
see once more the sublime spectacle of the plain of the Greater Zab. 
But everything was now dimmed by the mist. The storm was pass- 
ing below them, following the course of the valley. 

Retracing their steps, therefore, they slowly returned to the camp- 
ing-place. What a delight in taking a walk in such a place ! Sud- 
denly the farther end of the pass was lit up by a bright red light, and 
fantastic shadows ran along the sides of the rocks. It was chef Green 
who was lighting bis kitchen-range, that is to say, who was cooking 
the supper on a wood fire. 

The storm drew off. Only a few drops of rain fell on the heights. 
The night passed quietly ; they slept to the rumbling noise of the 
cascade. 

The next morning at daybreak the ascension of the mountain was 
continued. The highest point of the ridge had to be gained by about 






BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 139 

noon. The descent would then be made rapidly to the valley of the 
Lesser Zab. 

The path began at the foot of the escarpment to the right and rose 
in long zig-zags across the fallen rocks of a former torrent. The 
ascent was not excessive ; yet progress was made difficult by the want 
of firmness in the ground on which they trod. Finally, at the end of 
an hour, the caravan reached a kind of platform a few yards in width. 
Little flowers grew out through the clefts in the rock. A hundred 
steps farther on they turned suddenly to the right, to enter a deeply 
sunk pass. The cold was intense, for they were approaching the 
snow. Already they saw some large white patches at the back of the 
defile, in the places sheltered from the sun. 

It is impossible to imagine a wilder and more solitary spot. The 
ravine was bound on the right and on the left by almost perpendicular 
rocks of an olive-colored black. Not a blade of grass, not even moss 
on these stones as hard as granite. Before them they saw the defile 
which rose rapidly, obstructed at its upper part by gigantic heaps of 
rocks. 

" That looks like the entrance to the infernal regions,^' said Miss 
Nelly. 

^* You are nearer right than you think," replied Monaghan. " I 
very much suspect fire of being the author of these sublime horrors. 
"VYe must be near to the centre of a volcanic eruption." 

" Look," cried the young girl, stopping before a rock. " What can 
this queer plant be that is crawling over the surface of this stone ? " 

"You know it well, notwithstanding. Miss Badger," replied the 
geologist. " It is this which forms the forest through which we had 
to pass in order to get here." 

" What !" exclaimed Miss Nelly. "Is that a fir? It has but 
little resemblance to those vigorous trees, so straight and proud, which 
I perceive some two or three hundred yards below us." 

" These are nevertheless common firs," said Monaghan. " The 
mountain is full of surprises for the traveler, and this is not among 
the least of them. This defile is very cold and avalanches and freez- 
ing storms are passing through it continually. The firs have, there- 
fore, had to modify their conditions of vitality in order to resist the 
inclemency of the air. Here they crawl along the stones like ivy, 
pressing their attenuated branches against the surface which protects 
them. We are again passing through a forest of firs, as we did far- 



140 BABYLON ELECTEIFIED. 

ther below. But what a change in the constitution of the trees ! 
Thev are hardly visible, dwindling down to a few thin stems, similar 

to ivy." 

" It is strange, indeed," said Miss Nelly. 

They had arrived at the foot of the barrier which ended the ravine. 
At that point there was no longer a regular path. TJiey had to climb 
over the boulders, heaped up in the most fearful confusion. Every- 
body dismounted again ; the horses had to be led by the bridle. The 
most difficult part of the passage had been reached. Finally, after 
much exertion and many falls, fortunately none of them serious, the 
caravan arrived safely on a long surface, covered with a fine grass, like 
down. The journey now became an agreeable promenade. They ar- 
rived at the edge of a lake with blue and limpid waters. But, in 
striking contrast, the basin of this lake and the surrounding rocks 
were of an opaque black. 

Monaghan stopped, picked up some specimens of the rock, examined 
them minutely, and said : 

" Gentlemen, we have arrived on the crater of a former volcano. 
This lake has filled the orifice through which the lava passed which 
we have climbed since passing the cascade. I can now understand the 
cause of the dismal color of these mountains and their complete bar- 
renness. The rocks on which we tread are diallage and serpentine. 
Their hardness has resisted the attacks of water and air ; no plant 
can find subsistence in so sterile a soil." 

The caravan passed around the lake. They stopped for an instant 
to rest and to take some nourishment. Only a short stay was made, 
for it was extremely cold. 

An ascent of about a thousand feet remained to be climbed. This 
was an easy task, for the path was broad and the slope comparatively 
gentle. In three-quarters of an hour they had reached the highest 
point of the mountainous ridge which separates the valley of the 
Greater Zab from that of the Lesser Zab. The view from these 
heights was admirable. The eye looked down on an endless horizon 
of snowy summits, lofty peaks, domes sparkling in the sun and deeply 
lying valleys. 

Notwithstanding all the attractions of this marvelous panorama, it 
soon became necessary to descend. A cold wind blew on this side, 
more exposed to the west than the other. The snow, rarely met with 
during the ascent, covered the side of the mountain for a slope of 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



141 



several hundred yards in length. The guides enjoined them to ad- 
vance with caution. The path was narrow and slippery ; a false step 
might bring about a catastrophe. For the first hundred yards all went 
well. Suddenly Flatnose was seen to lose his balance, fall from his 
horse onto the edge of the path and 
roll towards the abyss on the sides of 
the mountain. 
There was a cry of 
alarm. Every one 
stopped, regarding 
with terror the jour- 
nalist's fall. But, strange 
to say, riatnose's body 
disappeared from the 
view of the astonished 
spectators. After he 
had rolled for several 
seconds, a ball of snow 
was seen to form, which 
grew larger visibly, 
going down the de- 
clivity with a frightful 
velocity, bounding over the 
rocks, continually increasing in 
size. The ball of snow was trans- 
formed into a gigantic avalanche. 
Finally, arriving at the bottom of the 
slope, it struck violently against a rock 



its way. 




scattered in 



which barred 
directions. 

What a surprise ! from the midst of the ball a 
black spot was seen to shoot out and sink into a 
bed of snow thirty yards farther on. 

" It's Flatnose ! " cried Badger. '' He is not dead. I see his legs 
struggling in the air. There ! see him sit up and feel himself ! Poor 
fellow!" 

The black spot was, indeed, seen to move. The caravan descended 
the path as quickly as possible. A quarter of an hour later they were 
close by Flatnose, still bewildered by his miraculous fall, but without 



142 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



the least wound. They caused him to drink a cordial. It was long 
before the poor journalist, strongly agitated, regained his speech. He 
did not understand his situation at all. They had to explain to him 
how, his body having formed the nucleus of a ball of snow, he had 
come to be drawn along in the centre of the avalanche ; how he had 
been preserved by just this covering of snow; how* at last the final 
collision had broken his prison, where he ran the risk of being suf- 
focated. 

In the evening the caravan, hardly yet recovered from the excite- 
ment, encamped in the valley of the Lower Zab. 





CHAPTER XY. 

A SAD EVENT. 

The camp had hardly been fixed, when the sky suddenly became 
overcast, and a fearful storm broke loose in the mountain. The tents, 
shaken by a raging wind, threatened every instant to fly away. They 
had to be folded up again in all haste, and a better shelter sought in 
some miserable huts which stood not far from there. This hamlet is 
called Khoi-Sanjak. 

The storm lasted for two long hours. At last the sky began to 
clear up. They availed themselves of the opportunity for leaving the 
smoky and evil-smelling place in which they were cooped up. The 
spectacle which our travelers then had before their eyes cannot be 
depicted. No description could give any idea of it. No brush even 
would be capable of reproducing such a combination of wonderful 
colors. 

While the gorge below was still wrapped in darkness, farther above 

(143) 



J44 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

the sun shone in all his brightness. The snow, the neves, and the gla- 
ciers of the high summits were tinged with colors of the most intense 
purple. At the base the most dazzling white reflected sheaves of golden 
light. Surprising contrast of nature ! After the furious battle of the 
elements, the day appeared again as clear and fine as before. 
^ This fair weather lasted but a quarter of an hour ; the sky became 
clouded again. A gray hue spread over the valley ; a fine and cold 
rain continued to fall for the rest of the evening. 

The inhabitants of the hut in which our travelers had sought refuge 
said that the valley was not very safe just then. A band of marauders 
had passed a few days before and must be keeping the field in the 
neighborhood. 

Next day the sun shone in all his brightness. The caravan resumed 
the journey, redoubling its caution. It was forbidden to separate ; 
the guns and revolvers were carefully examined. 

The morning passed quietly ; the country seemed deserted. After 
the noon-day meal, they entered a series of narrow defiles. Suddenly, 
the scouts of the advance guard pointed out a group of ten Kurds of 
suspicious appearance. Badger immediately gave the order to halt. 
The whole of the caravan concealed itself behind a large rock which 
obstructed the gorge. Badger resolved to send some scouts forward. 
It was necessary to get information as to the intentions of these men. 
The caravan was numerous enough and sufficiently well armed to 
resist an attack of ten marauders ; but his lordship desired before all 
to avoid shedding blood. A fight, even with brigands, might compro- 
mise the success of his future enterprises. He had entered these 
mountains as an advocate of peace andf of civilization, and did not 
wish to fire a useless shot. Four resolute men were chosen to move 
forward. Jack Adams placed himself at their head. Flatnose, ex- 
cited by his adventure of the preceding day, dedared that he also 
would join the band of scouts. They all tried to dissuade him from 
doing so. 

" I have nothing to fear,'' said he in a jesting tone. " There are no 
more robbers in these mountains than there are Krumen in Tunis. 
You will see that these people are peaceful shepherds, who come to 
play pastorals in this poetic spot.'' 

Our six scouts advanced slowly, hiding behind the rocks and bushes. 
Ten minutes later, they were hardly a hundred yards away from the 
Kurds. The latter, seated in a circle around a fire, were just taking 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 145 

their meal. They had tied their horses to the trunks of some trees 
near by. Their guns, lying on the ground beside them, were within 
reach of their hands. 

Jack Adams and his companions remained motionless for a moment, 
trying to divine the intentions of these Kurds. But there could be no 
mistake about it. These were neither traveling merchants nor shep- 
herds leading their flocks ; they were nothing else but highway robbers. 

One of these men was suddenly seen to rise and disappear behind a 
copse. He reappeared an instant later, dragging two prisoners after 
him, with their hands bound behind their backs. He was evidently 
bringing them to take their share of the meal. One of these prisoners 
was a woman, with torn garments and half-naked. The other was a 
man. 

Flatnose took out his glasses and examined the new arrivals. Sud- 
denly he drew his revolver from its case. Then, darting forward, he 
cried with a harsh voice : 

"It's Miss Ross!" 

At the cry uttered by Flatnose, the brigands sprang up with a single 
bound and darted toward their guns. Flatnose, wild with rage, was 
running forward like one possessed. Jack Adams and the four scouts 
tried to overtake him, but it was too late. They heard the brave 
journalist cry : " ^o, it shall not be said that I will not save Miss 
Ross from the hands of these brigands ! '' At the same time, he fired 
off the six shots of his revolver in the direction of the robbers. The 
latter immediately replied with their guns. Poor Flatnose, struck in 
the centre of the forehead by a bullet, fell to the ground without 
moving again. He had been killed instantly. 

At the sound of these reports. Badger and his companions hastened 
at a gallop towards the place of the fight. On seeing so numerous a 
party coming up, the brigands became afraid. They untied their 
horses, were in their saddles in the twinkling of an eye, and fled, 
abandoning their two prisoners. Jack Adams, rendered furious by 
Flatnose's death, fired the two shots of his gun after the brigands ; the 
four men who accompanied him immediately followed his example. 
Two of the brigands were then seen to sway on their horses and fall 
to the ground, while the animals continued their wild flight. The rest 
of the fugitives were soon out of gun-shot. 

Jack Adams rushed to the aid of Flatnose. Badger, Monaghan, and 
the rest of the caravan, came up at the same moment. There was a 
10 



146 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



general amazement. Except Jack Adams and the four scouts, the 
new-<x)mers did not know of the catastrophe. Flatnose was raised 
up. Monaghan, who was somewhat of a doctor, examined the wound. 




All care would be useless ; the bullet had entered through the fore- 
head, shattered the brain, and passed out again at the back. 

The body was laid on the grass. For some moments there was a 
complete silence. What ! Flatnose, their jolly companion, was now 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 147 

dead ! They would never see him again ! And yet everything before 
them remained unchanged in appearance. The sky was bkie as before ; 
the torrent murmured merrily among the pebbles. 

Miss Nelly was the first to break the silence : 

^^Poor Flatnose/' said she, drying her tears, "he was an honest 
fellow.'' 

" He was only a journalist/' said Grimmitschoffer, on whose heart 
the episode in the cellar at Khorsabad still weighed. 

" Yes, sir," replied Badger, irritated by this, to say the least, un- 
timely reflection; "but he was also a brave soul. His death has 
shown it." 

" You misconstrue my meaning, my lord," replied the savant. " I 
am as pained as you are by the death of your friend. I simply meant 
to say that, for the success of your enterprise, his loss is less irrepara- 
ble than if it were Mr. Jack Adams, for example, who had been 
killed." 

" Before a corpse, and above all the corpse of a companion, of one 
who has shared our joys and our sorrows, interest is a thought w^hich 
cannot enter into our hearts," replied Badger. 

A renewed silence followed upon these curt words. All regarded 
with sadness the body of their friend. Death had been so instantane- 
ous that no feature of the face was altered. The half-closed eyes had 
the same expression of jolly good humor ; the lips seemed still to smile 
after a final pun. 

This time it was Jack Adams who was the first to speak : 

" Gentlemen," said he, " I think it is time that we should look after 
the prisoners." 

"Are there any prisoners ? " cried those who stood around him. 

" True, gentlemen, I have forgotten to tell you that it was while 
trying to save Miss Ross that Flatnose met his death." 

" Miss Ross," cried Badger, " Miss Ross is here !" 

His lordship, conducted by Jack Adams, proceeded towards the spot 
where Miss Ross and her companion were waiting to be released. 
They had seen the brigands take flight; they understood that the 
Europeans had remained masters of the field. Miss Ross had no 
doubt but that the caravan that was attacked was that of Badger ; she 
saw the end of all her suiferings coming at last. She little suspected 
that a new and irreparable misfortune was the price of her liberty. 

When Badger and the engineer had approached near enough to her 



14« BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

to be recognized, the poor woman started forward to meet them. She 
could only express her happiness at first by tears and disconnected 
words. 

Badger, whose heart was pained at sight of this joy, did not know 
what means to employ in order to prepare her for the sad news. 

" Who is this man who is with you?'^ asked he. 

" He calls himself Cahuzac. He is a photographer, a Frenchman, 
whom the brigands had made a prisoner with me." 

His lordship made a few steps towards the photographer, and held 
out his hand to him, telling him that he was welcome among them. 

The events which we have just related had followed each other so 
rapidly that the prisoner did not understand his situation as yet. He 
had some persons before him of whose intentions he was ignorant. 
All that he knew was that a fight had taken place, that some men had 
been killed or wounded, and that he was free. 

" Please to come with us, monsieur,^ said Badger to him in French. 

Miss Ross, however, seemed to have a sort of presentiment of some 
catastrophe. 

" Your companions are all alive and well ? " she asked, hesitatingly. 

" We have a terrible misfortune to deplore." 

The four arrived at the group which surrounded Flatnose^s body. 
With a movement, the instructress pushed aside those who stood in her 
way, and, without a cry, without a tear, she knelt down beside the 
inanimate remains of her faithful companion, w^hose hand she held 
between her own for a long time. The poor woman's grief was all 
the more touching, as she believed it to be her duty to repress it. 
Faithful, even when she beheld her hopes falling away, to principles 
of austerity, exaggerated perhaps, but respectable, she feared to set her 
pupil a bad example by giving way to all the feelings which weighed 
down her heart. 

Yet a heroism too long sustained is beyond the power of human 
nature. The unfortunate woman soon became convulsed with violent 
sobs. Miss Nelly comprehended that it was time to put an end to this 
painful scene, and, partly by gentle force, partly by persuasion, she 
sucx^eeded in bringing away Miss Eoss, who could at last weep with 
no other witnesses but the two young girls. 

For the first time the true character of her instructress had been 
revealed to Miss Nelly. Youth is at times cruel without wishing to 
be so, and through ignorance. In spite of her kindness of heart and 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 149 

the true affection which she felt for her governess, the young English 
girl had not refrained at times from laughing at what she called Miss 
Ross's romance. That one should have one's little romance at twenty 
was very natural in her eyes ; but that a woman who was more than 
twice as old as herself should also want to have her own, seemed to 
her a most unlikely thing. She now understood that, on the threshold 
of old age, the love founded on real sympathies and on mutual esteem 
can hold as high a place in life as, at twenty years, a more romantic 
and tender sentiment. The affection which circumstances had caused 
to arise between Miss Ross and Flatnose, and which was to have ended 
in the marriage of the old maid and the old bachelor, deserved to be 
respected, and not to be made the subject of jests. 

Miss Nelly resolved to atone for her faults and to assuage the grief 
of the poor afflicted girl by causing her to feel that she understood 
her. Fatma, who, for her part, had not a few roguish tricks on her 
conscience with regard to the instructress, showed her an unaffected 
sympatliy. Her heart was also very full at the thought that she 
would never see her good friend Flatnose again, and, without analyz- 
ing Miss Ross's feelings, she wept with her. 

In the meantime, the two wounded bandits were lying on the road. 
Some soldiers were sent to bring information as to their condition. A 
few minutes after, they were brought before Badger, their hands tightly 
bound behind their backs. The one had a broken leg, the other a shat- 
tered shoulder. In spite of their sufferings, which must have been in- 
tolerable, no complaint escaped from their tightly closed lips, and they 
looked insolently around on all of those present. Badger gave the 
order to bind up their wounds and to tie them fast to horses. He 
intended to deliver them over to Turkish justice. 

Before continuing the journey, a painful duty remained to be per- 
formed : to commit the body of their unfortunate companion to the 
earth. Every one came up to bid the journalist a last farewell. Miss 
Ross also desired to perform this pious duty. 

"Are we, then, going to leave him thus?" exclaimed she, amid 
heart-rending sobs. 

Badger understood the poor girl's meaning. 

" No, Miss Ross," he said to her, pressing her hand with a warm 
grasp, " trust to me. We shall lay the remains of our friend in a place 
where they will be secure from the attacks of men and animals, and,, 



150 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



on my return to London, I promise to do all that will be necessary to 
have them transported over there." 

This promise seemed to allay Miss Boss's grief a little. Of her 
dream of modest happiness there now remained but the hope of praying 
over a tomb. 

Badger and Jack Adams alone remained to perform the last melan- 
choly duties. Monaghan, offering his arm to the governess, who wept 
no more and seemed as if petrified, descended again with the two young 
girls, who were weeping bitterly. A large stone was laid on the grave ; 
it would serve to identify the place by later on, when they would be 
able to transfer Flatnose's remains. 

The sun was about to set when the caravan took up its march again. 
Badger would at no price encamp on the scene of the sinister event. 
They would make but a few miles, but at least they would flee from 
this melancholy spot. 

For two hours they journeyed along, sadly and silently. Each one 
was absorbed in his thoughts. The sun had set an hour before when 
Badger gave the signal to halt. The tents were raised and the camp 
fixed for the night. Thousands of stars sparkled in the firmament. 
They could perceive that they were again approaching the sandy plain. 
The wind from the west brought warm gusts with it. 

" That is the air of Babylon, my friends," said Badger, when they 
were all united at supper. " May the grandeur of our work cause us 
to forget our sadness. If man desires to conquer, it is necessary that 
he should learn to rise above the miseries of humanity." 

These words raised their spirits. Yes, the future was there, and, 
however sad the present might be, they should not look backwards, 
but always ahead. One star shone with a greater brilliancy than the 
others : it was the star of science, of progress, of civilization. Guided 
by it they would all advance together, ha«nd in hand. Very few of 
them, perhaps, would see the goal of their labors. Perhaps, too, the 
end was too far off, and none would be able to reach it. 

In order to give Miss Ross some diversion from her grief, Badger 
askcni her to relate her adventures. 

She had wandered a little from the entrance of the grotto, when she 
suddenly saw three horsemen coming towai-ds her at a gallop. She 
attempted to flee and tO get back to the cave, but the brigands seized 
her in an instant ; her cries were smothered by the aid of a handker- 
chief, which was placed over her mouth. One of the bandits tied her 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 151 

to the crupper of his horse ; then she became unconscious, remaining 
so for quite a long time, without doubt. 

When she regained consciousness, she was confined alone in a room 
with ruined walls. She endeavored to escape, but doors and windows 
were firmly barred. At the side of a filthy rug stood a jugful of 
water, a thick piece of galette, and some slices of dried meat. This 
was her whole nourishment for three days. On the fourth day the 
door opened ; a man entered, who made signs to her to follow him. 
She was again tied to the crupper of a horse, and the journey was re- 
sumed. 

For a whole day they followed ravines and hardly traceable paths 
among the mountains. Finally, at nightfall, they arrived at a village. 
The man unbound her and brought her into a house of better appear- 
ance than the first. An old woman received her, and made her under- 
stand by signs what she would have to do to help in the care of the 
house. In short, she had become the slave of the Kurds. 

She always hoped that a favorable opportunity might present itself 
for letting Badger know what had become of her. 

Her master, who was one of the prisoners — the one with the broken 
shoulder — had shown himself comparatively mild towards her; she 
begged Badger to be merciful with him. 

Cahuzac's story was much simpler — at least with regard to his 
captors — for, if he was to be believed, it was only after a long series 
of extraordinary events that he had ended by foundering among the 
wild tribes of Kurdistan. Passionately fond of voyages and adven- 
tures, but with no resource other than his profession as a photographer, 
he had traveled over a good part of the globe with his apparatus. 

Soon wearied by the monotony of the large European cities, he had 
not feared to brave the most barbarous countries, relying, no doubt, on 
the civilizing properties of the object-glass and of collodion. Kaffirs 
and Patagonians, Laplanders and Kanakas, all the types of the uni- 
verse had heard the formal " Don't move now, please ! " which, he 
affirmed, he knew how to say in all known and unknown languages. 

If he had not amassed a fortune by this profession, he had at least 
risked his life more than once. Every manifestation of astonishment 
on the part of his listeners he cut short with an " Oh, IVe had many 
other ex}>eriences like this," which seemed to- indicate a man not easy 
to disconcert. 

After a rapid recital of his earlier adventures, a recital accompanied 



152 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



by a wholly Gascon mimicry, which did not fail to astonish his English 
hearers a little, but which caused Fatma's eyes to open wide in amaze- 
ment, Cahuzac told how he had been made prisoner by the Kurds. 
WeU received at the beginning, he had finished by observing no pre- 
cautions whatever when passing from one village to another. He ^vas 




walking peaceably along the torrent of the Lesser Zab, humming a 
walse in Madame Angot, when he found himself surrounded by a band 
of marauders. He was bound and loaded, together with his instru- 
ment, on a horse, behind the back of a fierce Kurd. This occurrence 
had not ruffled his good humor. He had finished the walse interrupted 
by his capture. Then, he had sung into the ears of his astounded 
companion the air of the Dispute, finally that of the Conspirators. He 
was at the second verse of this when the troop halted at the place 
where he had been saved. Cahuzac, however, felt no uneasiness as to 
his fate, and gave proofs of the most jovial tranquillity. He intended 
to exhibit his talents as a photographer to his captors, and expected 
quickly to regain his libery. What would they have done with a poor 
wretch like himself? 

"The fools have freedom of the city everywhere, as well in the 
dominions of the king as in the country of the most savage nations," 
he said, by way of conclusion. 

The photographer's narrative offered some diversion from the sadness 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



153 



of the party that evening. In fact, there was nothing in the way of 
their gaining a new companion, who, moreover, seemed to be full of 
good humor. Badger therefore proposed to Cahuzac that he should 
stay with him as far as Bagdad. The latter did not wait to be pressed, 
but gladly accepted the oifer. 

Two days later the caravan arrived without accident at Altyn-Kopri, 
and encamped in the vicinity of the city. 





CHAPTER Xyi. 



THE VALLEY OF THE DYALAH. 



Badger, who had at first intended to 
deliver the two w^ounded Kurds over to Turkish justice, had changed 
his mind. 

In short, although plunderers and robbers, they were not murderers. 
In reality, Flatnose had been the aggressor. It is more than probable 
that if, instead of firing on them, an attempt had been made to enter 
into negotiations, they would have been very willing to give up their 
prisoners in return for a ransom. 

Bandits the Kurds are by nature. Would Turkish justice find the 

crime sufficiently great to merit a severe punishment? If the two 

prisoners were set at liberty, it would be all up with Badger's influence 

over the tribes of Kurdistan, while, if he himself took the initiative 

(154) 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 155 

in pardoning, that act of clemency on his part would produce the best 
eifect. 

His lordship, therefore, went to the two wounded men, to whom he 
caused to be explained that he gave them back their liberty. At the 
same time, he gave orders to conduct them to Altyn-Kopri, where they 
would be taken care of. 

When the litter passed near to the Europeans, the captor of Miss 
Ross shook his fist at Badger while uttering some words which they 
could not understand. 

" What did he say ? " Badger asked of the guide. 

" I do not dare to repeat it to you.'^ 

" Speak on, I wish it,'^ ordered Badger. 

He said : " Dog of a Christian, I shall be revenged." 

" He will be dead to-morrow," was Badger's only answer. 

Tliis scene took place on the morning of the day which saw the 
arrival of the expedition near the walls of Altyn-Kopri. A few hours 
later Badger and his companions resumed their journey. 

The caravan continued to follow the banks of the Lesser Zab and 
passed before the city. Altyn-Kopri is built on an island, with banks 
worn away by the waters of the torrent. The houses rise picturesquely 
above each other on a succession of broad terraces, the first of which 
begins above the cliffs which fall perpendicularly into the Lesser Zab. 
An oviform bridge passes majestically over the torrent. Below, the 
rapid waters roar at a great depth between two rows of calcareous 
walls. 

From this bridge on, the caravan ceased to follow the course of the 
Lesser Zab. It entered a road j^ei-pendicular to the river, advancing 
towards the south. Progress now became less difficult. The moun- 
tains grew less steep, the valleys less uneven, and offered a more com- 
fortable j)assage for men and animals. 

Two days later, they arrived without accident at Kerkook, situated 
at the sources of the Adhem, one of the tributaries of the Tigris. Jack 
Adams recognized the possibility of placing works over the torrent. 
Water was plentiful, and there was a sufficient inclination of the 
ground. 

Kerkook had another attraction for the caravan. Naphtha springs 
are found there in plenty. Badger and his companions repaired to 
the most famous of these springs. Monaghan desired greatly to study 
these repositories on the spot. It would be possible later on to make 



150 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

use of these Datural riches, to win which no attempt has as yet been 
made in that part of Mesopotamia. 

" Isn't naphtha the same thing as petroleum?" Miss Nelly asked 
the geologist, when they had arrived before the spring. 

"Pretty much the same. Miss Badger," replied the geologist. 
" When it is a slimy liquid, with a strong smell, it is called petro- 
leum, and when it is a transparent liquid, with an almost agreeable 
odor, we call it naphtha. . . ." 

Thus speaking, Monaghan took up in a glass a small quantity of 
the liquid which flowed at the bottom of the spring. He poured the 
contents on a hollow stone and put a lighted match to it. A large 
flame immediately sprang up. 

" You see, gentlemen," said the geologist, " that this is in truth a 
naphtha spring." 

" This country must be full of naphtha, then," said Cahuzac. " I 
have already gone over this region in all directions, and I have every- 
where met with springs similar to this. Since you pass to Kifri in 
order to gain the valley of the Dyalah, I shall conduct you to springs 
much richer than these." 

" "Willingly," replied Monaghan. " What you tell me there does 
not surprise me. Numerous petroleum springs are found near here in 
the Caucasus and in Persia. Springs of this kind abound in the 
neighborhood of Baku and in the peninsula of Apsheron, in the 
Shervan, so famous for their peri3etual fires." 

Three days after the conversation which we have just recounted, we 
find our travelers at Tuz-Khurmali. Here they were to stop for sev- 
eral days in order to give Jack Adams and Monaghan time to recon- 
noitre the country. Several torrent-like afiluents of the Adhem take 
their rise in these parts. It was probable that a favorable site would 
be found for large hydraulic works. 

Between Tuz-Khurmali and Kifri, Monaghan made a most impor- 
tant discovery. While ascending the course of a deeply embanked 
brook, he found a bed of coal. The people of the country had no 
knowledge of the existence of this mine, so well was it hidden from 
all eyes. 

Yet it was not accident only that had aided the men in this dis- 
covery. In studying the rocks of the country, Monaghan had recog- 
nized the presence of carboniferous layers. By degrees, following the 
inclination of the strata composing the soil, he had been led to ascend 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 157 

the course of the torrent, the waters of which, by laying bare the rocks, 
had enabled him to observe the transformations of the strata in the 
soil. Finally, to his great joy, Monaghan arrived at a place where 
large black bands showing level with the soil left no further doubt as 
to the existence there of coal. The lodes appeared numerous and 
thick ; their slight depth would permit them to be easily worked. 

Monaghan returned to camp with his pockets full of specimens. 
Badger experienced an intense satisfaction at this discovery. Coal 
was an auxiliary on which they had not counted, but which would 
nevertheless render important services. Although, it is true, the solar 
rays could be utilized by transforming them into forces for the service 
of man, yet this was no reason for despising the natural resources 
which, as it were, offered themselves. 

Badger sent for Adams in order to tell him of the good news. He 
enjoined the engineer and the geologist to observe the strictest silence 
on this repository of coal. If the discovery was noised abroad it 
was to be feared that adventurers, as they are found everywhere in 
such large numbers, might come to make excavations in this country. 
The benefit of Monaghan's discovery would thus be lost, and it was 
but just that they should reserve the monopoly of this^ so precious 
combustible for themselves. 

" The consumption of coal must be enormous," said Miss Nelly to 
Monaghan. " Much is already burned for heating purposes, but still 
more must be consumed by the gas-works and steam-engines." 

" Certainly, Miss Badger," replied the geologist. " Do you know 
how many steam-engines there are existing on the surface of the 
earth ? " 

" I have no idea." 

" There are one hundred and fifty thousand locomotives, the total 
power of which is thirty millions horse-power. As to the number of 
stationary engines, that is still larger, and their power exceeds forty- 
six millions horse-power. 

" These numbers are appalling," said the young girl. 

^^ Now," resumed the geologist, " if, as is obviously true, thirty men 
are equal to one-horse power, we arrive at the enormous number of 
a thousand million men replaced by the steam-engines which are dis- 
tributed amono^ the civilized nations. This number of a milliard of 
laborers, created by the genius of man, is there not something gigantic 
about it? Does it not by itself explain all the superiority of the 



15« BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

civilized nations over the mass of nations still sunk in barbarism ? 
The savage force of the barbarians can no longer encroach upon our 
civilization as at the end of the Koman empire. To the brutal force 
of man we can oppose a still more brutal force, that of our iron 
machines. We have now the advantage of numbers, for the milliard 
of workmen whom we have created will always keep in awe the bar- 
barians who might still want to precipitate themselves on our countries. 
The world is to-day invaded by the Europeans ; the inferior races 
recetle and disappear before the superior and intelligent races, sub- 
mitting to the natural law of the weaker. But let us not forget that 
we can conquer only with the aid of our machines, with our workmen 
of iron. In order to make the grape-shot which annihilates all 
resistance, steam-engines are necessary. Steam-engines are necessary 
again for boring the cannons, making powder, transporting men and 
engines of war to the ports and taking the ships from there to the 
country of the enemy.'' 

"The steam-engines are also instruments of progress, my dear 
Monaghan," interrupted Badger. " It is the railroads which have 
given so great a scope to commerce. It is likewise the steam-engines 
which produce the thousand and one objects necessary for the existence 
of man. I think that, far from being only agents of destruction, the 
steam-engines are, on the contrary, and above all, useful, peaceful and 
civilizing objects." 

"You are right, my lord," replied the geologist. "I had con- 
sidered but a portion of their usefulness, but I am the first to recognize 
that they are, before all, instruments of peace and of labor." 

A few days later the caravan proceeded to Kifri, and then reached 
the valley of the Dyalah, the most important tributary of the Tigris. 
A large number of naphtha springs were met with all along the way, 
as Cahuzac had foretold. 

The photographer was decidedly an agreeable and jolly companion. 
This man, with his restless and intelligent look, had always a smile 
on his lips and a song ready to float off on the air. Of a simplicity 
which often bordered on unreserve, he was yet never obtrusive. 
Amiable, frank, obliging, he succeeded quickly in winning every one's 
sympathy. 

" A good acquisition," said Badger one day to Jack Adams. 

" These Frenchmen are all the same," replied the engineer, with a 
touch of bitterness. 



BABYLON ELECTEIFIED. 



159 



It took twelve days to descend the valley of the Dyalah. Jack 
Adams found an excellent site for hydraulic works near Kizil-Robat, 
in the gorges of the Hamrin. 

The caravan was now again in a land of plains ; the mountains had 
been finally left. They passed through a veritable garden, intersected 

by myriads of brooks 
which spread coolness 
and fertility round about 
them. The frosts of 
winter had hardly been 
left, when, suddenly, our 
travelers found them- 
selves amid the splen- 
dors of summer, with a 
burning sun over their 
heads. This sudden 
transition was not with- 
out its inconveniences. 
The two young girls 
had some trouble in 
standing it. It became 
necessary to travel more 
slowly and by short 
stages. 

After leaving Bakuba 
they ceased to follow the 
stream, in order to take 
the shortest cut to Bagdad. The ruins of Dastaghad, as yet unex- 
plored, won Grimmitschoffer's attention for a whole day. The 
savant discovered a colossal head of stone there — weighing at least fifty 
pounds — which he packed up with the greatest precautions, so as to 
be able to study it at leisure after his return to Babylon, for, according 
to him, this find was of a nature to throw a light upon a large section 
of the country. 

" No more brains in one than in the other,'' murmured Jack Adams 
between his teeth. 

A singular contrast between these two men — the one always looking 
ahead, hoping everything from the future ; the other constantly turned 
towards the past, seeking there the secret of the destinies of humanity. 




160 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

On the 19th of April the caravan was back at Bagdad. Every one 
was very glad to be once more in a known place. 

Next day, before lunch, Lord Badger took Miss Rose aside. 

" These continual journeys weary you,'' said he to her, kindly. " It 
has been so for some time ; it would be worse at present, when you 
would find sad memories everywhere. Return to England. I have 
taken the necessary measures to secure an honorable existence for you 
over there. The governess of my daughter can always count on me." 

Miss Rose thanked his lordship for his kindness. It would be a 
trial for her to be separated from her pupil ; but, after all, she saw that 
Badger was right. An instructress since the age of eighteen, the time 
had come when rest became indispensable for her; the last ordeal 
that she had just undergone had overwhelmed her. 

She was therefore left with the English consul, who was commis- 
sioned to send her back to her native country. The parting was pain- 
ful ; they promised each other to write and to meet again in London. 

The expedition, reduced by a third, resumed its journey across the 
desert. This time it was proceeding towards the final resting-place, 
towards Babylon. 





PART SECOND. 



THE ELECTRIC WORKS. 



CHAPTER I. 



LIBERTY. 



So here our travelers are once more following the road that leads 
through the desert from Bagdad to Babylon. This time, on arriving 
at the latter city, they felt the agreeable sensation that the most de- 
termined explorers, the most inveterate tourists feel on returning home. 
They were no longer to camp under tents or lodge in precarious shel- 
ters ; they would be at home, in their own dwellings, provided with 
all European comforts. They were going to find their home again, 
the sweet home which the English know so well how to take with them 
everywhere. 

With Miss Nelly a greater and deeper joy was joined to this im- 
pression of comfort — she was to meet Cornille again. And, admitting 
that she had not as yet told herself that she loved the French en- 
gineer, a separation of three months had caused her to see what a large 
place he would henceforth hold in her life. Careful of her dignity, 
proud of her father's name, which she would not have wished to ex- 
change but for an equally honorable and illustrious one, she did not 
11 (161) 



162 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

abandon herself quietly to the sentiment which she felt arising in her, 
but wished before all to assure herself that he who inspired it was 
worthy of it. This daughter of the north had never thought that 
reason and duty had nothing to do with passion, and that love, blind 
love, is its own law in itself. Between Cornill6 and Miss Xelly there 
was, as it were, a sort of secret agreement, a tacit understanding to 
deserve each other's love before receiving it. 

This had not hindered Miss Nelly from thinking her horse's gait 
decidedly slow, nor Cornill6 from ascending more than twenty times 
to the top of the Kasr in order to scan all points of the horizon in the 
hope of seeing the caravan. 

On account of the heat, which began to be excessive on the plain, 
he supposed that they would travel during a part of the night and 
rest during the day. He was, therefore, since before dawn at his post 
of observ^ation, when a cloud of dust, seen in the distance, announced 
to him the approach of the so earnestly longed-for party. 

The whole works were immediately in confusion. Every one made 
preparations to receive his principal in a proper manner. Blacton and 
Cornille mounted their horses and went to meet Badger. 

The meeting took place two miles from the works. They shook 
hands cordially with each other. Cornill6 ascertained at a glance how 
much Miss Nelly had gained in beauty. 

" I find you always the same. Miss Nelly," he said to her ; " this 
long voyage has not wearied you ; aside from your complexion, which 
is slightly darkened by the sun of the Orient, one would say that you 
had never left London." 

"The fact is," declared Badger, "that my daughter has never 
looked so well as to-day. What sparkling eyes, what a fresh and rosy 
complexion ! " 

Meanwhile Cornille ran his eye over the party and remarked the 
absence of two of his old companions and the presence of a new- 
comer. 

"Why, where is our stout Flatnose, and grave Miss Boss?" 
asked he. 

" Flatnose is dead," replied Badger, sadly. "As to Miss Boss, she 
must be at this moment on her way to England." And he recounted 
in a few words the events of which we know already. 

"Poor Flatnose," said the engineeer, deeply moved, "he had a 
tender heart under his rough exterior." 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 163 

" We have been deeply grieved by his tragic end," resumed Badger ; 
" yet we have had a diversion from our sorrow by meeting with a new 
companion, whom I have yet to introduce to you — Monsieur Cahuzac, 
a photographer and a Frenchman.'^ 

Then, turning to Cahuzac : '^ Permit me to introduce you to Monsieur 
Cornill^, the French engineer, of whom you have so often heard us 
speak." 

The two compatriots shook hands vigorously. 

The caravan resumed its journey towards the works, which ap- 
peared for the first time before the eyes of the travelers. 

The sight was a glorious one and well calculated to fill Badger's 
heart with joy and pride. The two mounts of the Kasr and of Babel 
rose majestically at the horizon. Their inclined slopes, furrowed by 
the waters of heaven, had been replaced for a large part of their cir- 
cumference by thick vertical walls of brick. Counterforts in the 
form of towers served as supports. The Kasr and Babel now had a 
striking resemblance to mediaeval fortresses. Badger was the first to 
observe it. 

" Your works, my dear Cornill^, resemble a stronghold." 

" That is what they are, in fact, my lord," replied the engineer. 
" Who knows whether we may not have to stand a siege some day ? 
One must never trust the Arabs. From up there we shall be able to 
resist a whole army." 

^^ You will be victorious," interrupted Cahuzac, " for have you not 
lightning at your disposition for pulverizing the barbarians ? " 

" It would not be the first time that electricity had filled this role,^ 
said Grimm, in an undertone, as if speaking to himself. 

As they a])proached nearer to the works, or rather to the fortresses, 
for never had works presented themselves imder such an aspect, they 
could see the details more clearly. The upper part of Babel had the 
form of a large terrace. It will be remembered that the mount — now 
on the right hand of the travelers — bore Cornill^'s thermo-electric 
piles. Now, to allow the rays of the sun all their force of action, it 
was necessary to have no elevated obstacle on the upper surface of the 
plateau. It was not thus on the Kasr, where the works properly 
speaking were located, that is to say, a large number of buildings in- 
tended for various uses. AVhence arose a multiplicity of forms, of 
pointed roofs, of towers, and of chimneys, offering to the eye an ap- 
ix^arance which, though most strange, was yet highly picturesque. 



164 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

"Why is not Captain Laycock here?" exclaimed Badger; "he 
would see the reahzation of his work. And what a gigantic work ! 
Honor to those who have contributed towards the erection of this 
temple of science and progress. Honor to you, my dear Cornille, my 
dear Adams, my excellent Blacton ; honor to all, for all have done 
their duty.'^ 

Badger had hardly ended these words when another horseman was 
seen to hurry towards them at full speed. A few minutes later Cap- 
tain Laycock dismounted from his horse and rushed into Badger's 
arms. 

" Now the feast is complete," said Badger ; " I had just made the 
remark that only you were wanting, and I expressed my regrets." 

" I knew the day of your return," replied Laycock. " I would not 
have been absent for anything in the world. My ship has been at 
Babylon since an hour. I have just taken the time to put everything 
on board in order and to get here at full speed." 

" Thank you, my good friend," replied Badger, strongly moved by 
these repeated marks of sympathy. 

" This is my last voyage until the return of the ships which have 
gone to England for a new cargo. Everything is now in its place: I 
am entitled to a few weeks' rest." 

" They will not be grudged you, be assured of that ; but I know 
you— before three days have passed, you modern Nimrod, you will 
have caused all the echoes of the neighborhood to resound with your 
exploits as a hunter. Did Captain Laycock ever take a rest ? " 

A rise in the ground had until then prevented the base of the two 
hillocks from being seen. When the caravan reached the top of a 
high dune of sand, a city, a veritable city, appeared before the as- 
tonished eyes of the travelers. More than three hundred houses with 
flat roofs and surrounded by small gardens stood in the space com- 
prised between the Kasr and Babel. 

At this sight their enthusiasm reached its height. By the hurrahs, 
by the repeated cries of admiration uttered by the newcomers, by the 
way in which Miss Nelly and Fatma clapped their hands, Cornill^ 
and Blacton could judge that their triumph was complete. 

"What is the name of this city?" asked Miss Nelly, smiling. 

" Badger City," replied CornilM. 

" No, my friends," said Badger ; " I cannot accept this honor, how- 
ever pleasing it may be to my vanity. If you will follow my advice, 



I 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 165 

in fact, none of us will connect his name with any part of the work 
which we have carried on together. Science is our only master, and 
must always remain the only one." 

"Nevertheless,'' interrupted Cornill^, "it would be but just to give 
your name to that part of the city which will serve as the beginning 
of new Babylon. You are our chief, and this honor is yours by 
right." 

" That is true," exclaimed all of those present. 

" No," resumed Badger, " but since you are kind enough to grant 
me a privilege, I claim that of choosing the name of the new city my- 
self. I wish to have it called Liberty, so as to indicate that it is to be 
the starting point of a new civilization, developing freely by work, 
peace, and the union of all." 

" Unanimously adopted," replied Cornille. 

" Plus my vote," added the photographer, while Grimmitschoffer 
shook his head with a sad and doubtful air. 

Ten minutes later, the caravan made its entry into Liberty, since 
that was now to be the name of the city which had arisen, as if by 
enchantment, in the midst of an arid desert. 

All the workmen, headed by the engineers and superintendents, were 
collected to welcome Badger and his friends, and made the air resound 
with their enthusiastic and oft-repeated cheers. His lordship dismounted, 
shook the principals cordially by the hand, and thanked the workmen 
in a few words full of sympathy. 

They then proceeded to the centre of the city, where the dwelling- 
houses intended for Badger and the members of the expedition were 
situated. Liberty had a wholly original character : the regularity of 
the plan, the arrangement of the streets, the care expended on the 
smallest details of everything that might insure cleanliness and health 
to the town, proclaimed the European city. But all the arrangements 
required by the climate, and which the builders had had the good sense 
and the good taste to retain, the terrace-like roofs, the numerous gar- 
dens irrigated by brooks of running water, the covered galleries, the 
squares adorned with fountains, over which immense awnings of can- 
vas were spread, giving the shade which could not yet be looked for 
in the new plantations, all this preserved for it its characteristics of an 
oriental town. In the interior of the houvses was again found — in all 
the details of arrangement and furnishing — the same intelligent appli- 
cation of local usages to the requirements of civilized life. 



166 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



A large number of European and native merchants had already 
established themselves in the new U)\\n, where all branches of com- 
merce and industry were found represented. The most amusing va- 
riety resulted. Miss Nelly and Fatma could hardly believe tlieir eyes. 
AVhat ! This ground, which they had left three months before in a 
desert-Hke state, was transformed to this extent? It was a new tale 
of the Thousand and One Nights to be added to thole of the Arabian 
poet. The most amazing wonders dreamed 
of by the imagination in the time when it 
reigned wholly over a young humani- 
ty, can be realized to-day by science, 
\ If j I I ! • when it is placed at the service of a 

* *" 1 ^^ ^^ hardly seven o'clock in 

the morning. Each of the travelers 
directed his steps to the dwell- 
ing intended for h.im, in 
order to enjoy a few hours 
of sleep. \Yhat a 
pleasure to lie down at 
last on real beds, be- 
tween sheets of fine 
cloth ; to resume the 
gentle habits, the exis- 
tence full of comfort, 
of the rich Euro- 
peans! Miss 
Nelly was impa- 
tient to see her new 
abode. An agree- 
able surprise, 
which she was far 
from expecting, 
awaited her there. 
Her f a t h e r had 
wished that she should 
here find again her chamber, her little working-room, her piano, her 
crayons, her books, and all her familiar nick-nacks and bibelots. It 
seemed to her like a delusion at first. But no, there were really her 




BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 167 

pretty rosewood bureau, her library, her wardrobe, her arm-chair, her 
chairs, down to even her ink-stand and paper. On the walls her pic- 
tures were hanging, and among them the dearest of all, the portrait 
of her mother. 

With a bound she was beside her father, who had remained on the 
threshold, smiling and as happy as his daughter. And, putting her 
arms around Badger's neck : 

" Really, dear father,^' she said to him, " I begin to think that you 
spoil me too much, you treat me like the little princesses of the fairy 
tales.'' 

"And whom then could I love too much, if not yourself, my dear 
Nelly? Are you not my only joy, my only happiness? You are the 
charming fairy who leaves her mark on everything, and whose mere 
presence beautifies everything which she approaches." 

Fatma's chamber was situated near that of her mistress. It was 
more modest, but still furnished with taste. AYithout wishing to make 
the young Greek the equal of his daughter. Badger desired that she 
should be regarded as her companion and not as an inferior. 

It had been agreed upon that every one should be up at noon for 
lunch. But, long before the hour set, they were all collected in the 
large parlor. Nobody had been able to close an eye. The minds 
were too excited by the expectation of the unknown. The contem- 
plated visit to the electric works was the great attraction of the day. 

These imposing masses of the Kasr and of Babel, which threw the 
town into the shade, and bounded the horizon, what did they contain 
within their steep walls ? What were they going to see ? 

At the stroke of twelve, the heavy cloth curtains, which in the 
East form the only partitions between the different rooms of a suite 
of apartments, slid on their rods, and an Arab servant, acting as 
steward, came to announce that lunch was served. Badger had in- 
formed his companions that they would continue to have their meals 
together at Liberty, just as they had on the Electricity and in the 
desert. If each one had his house, they all would meet together at 
least at meal-times. It was the surest means for preserving that pre- 
cious intimacy which, since the departure from London, had as yet 
remained unbroken. 

Corning made Cahuzac sit beside him. He wanted to talk of his 
native land — of dear France. It turned out that they were born in 
the same province, and that they had a host of mutual acquaintances. 



168 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

Perhaps they were even cousins — " after the fashion of Brittany/' as 
the photographer said laughingly. At least, if they were not cousins, 
they knew persons distantly related to both of their families. Unfor- 
tunately, Cornill6 was given but little "rest at this meal. He was the 
hero of the day ; they overwhelmed him with questions, and wanted to 
know everything. 

" You will see presently," replied the engineer. • 

"At least tell us how your work stands.^' 

"As to that, yes ! I assure you that good Blacton has worked well. 
What spirit ! What an absorbing activity ! The large works of the 
Kasr are almost completed ; the dynamo-electric machines and the 
accumulators are all placed in position. As to my thermo-electric 
pile at Babel, it is in a fair way to advance. You know that we have 
been able to take with us only a very small part of the immense 
amount of material necessary for a complete establishment. What I 
have of it even now has already given me excellent results. I await, 
without very much impatience, the arrival of the ships which in two 
or three months from now will bring me the rest of my pile. Its 
complete setting up will require at least four months. The unfavor- 
able days will have set in again ; the sun will not be hot enough. ' The 
thermo-electric pile will, therefore, not be in really good working 
order until a year from now." 

After they had taken coffee, all rose hurriedly from the table. 
Every one hastened to dress in such a way as to be able to brave the 
hot stinging of the sun of Asia with impunity, then all proceeded to 
the Kasr. The heat was intense ; but nobody felt it, so great was 
their impatience to see the buildings. The hats of elder-pith, the 
thick veils, the large parasols, were to give protection against sun- 
stroke. 





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CHAPTER II. 



THE KASR AND BABEL. 



In a few minutes the merry party had reached the foot of the Kasr. 
The original hill was no longer recognizable. Its grassy slopes had 
given place to a long series of terraces, intended to hold the ground 
and the bricks, and, above all, to increase the surface of the works. 

It was impossible to overlook the whole plan at the first glance. 
Therefore Cornill6, so as to give his companions some idea of his work 
as a whole, conducted them at once to the summit of the Kasr. They 
reached it by a long inclined ascent which allowed wagons to get to 
the upper plateau. 

The view extended into the distance. The horizon widened in pro- 
portion as they advanced on this circular road. Liberty appeared, 
with its streets crossing each other at right angles and its uniform 
houses. Then, on the other side, the Euphrates, with its broad bed 
and clear waters ; farther away the Arabian city of Hillah, over 
which the palm-trees threw patches of dark green, contrasting strongly 
with the whiteness of the buildings. Finally, at the extreme horizon, 
the hill of Birs-Nimrod, the scene of poor Grimmitschoffer's misfor- 

(169) 



170 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

tune. Fatraa, the little rogue— that age knows no pity — called out 
to him: 

" I say ! Mr. Grimm, don't you see the tower down there in which 
you were lodged like an owl ? '^ 

Alas ! Grimm saw it but too well, this tower of misfortune, which 
had so nearly become the tower of hunger for him. He pretended 
not to hear and went in another direction. ♦ 

" The savants are not fond of jesting," whispered Cornill^ to Ca- 
huzac, who did not know through what circumstances Grimm had 
come to be one of the expedition ; and, in a few Avords, he acquainted 
the photographer with the incidents which had brought about the dis- 
covery of the illustrious archaeologist. 

The party reached the upper plateau of the Kasr, at a height of 
about one hundred and fifty feet above the plain. Successively nar-^ 
rowed by the receding terraces which flanked its four sides, the mount 
had at its summit but a rectangular surface of three hundred feet in 
breadth by four hundred and fifty in length. 

A tower of about fifty feet in height rose in the centre of the 
plateau. It was to serve eventually for the establishment of a gigan- 
tic light-house destined to illumine the works and the city. Just now 
it was as yet but an observatory. 

When all were assembled on the platform of this tower Cornill^ 
addressed them : 

"Now, ladies and gentlemen, you can oversee the whole of the 
buildings." 

" Does it not look like Mont Saint-Michel ? " observed Miss Nelly, 
who had visited the celebrated abbey on the coasts of Normandy. 

" That is perfectly exact. Miss Badger," resumed the engineer. " In 
short, you see that the plan is very simple — an upper plateau and all 
around a broad belt of terraces at levels but little elevated above each 
other. On the upper plateau we have placed the accumulators. They 
will collect the electricity furnished by the piles at Babel and by the 
hydraulic works which my friend Jack Adams has constructed on the 
streams and torrents of the basin of the upper Tigris and of the 
mountain-chain bordering Persia. As to the lower rows, they hold 
the dynamo-electric motors. These . are of two kinds — the motors 
destined to act by the combustion of coal and of petroleum are con- 
tained in the buildings which you see at your right ; at your left we 
have placed those which will receive their movement through the elec- 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 171 

tricity drawn directly from the accumulators and which are much 
more numerous.'' 

" It is perfect/' said Jack Adams. 

"Admirable," said Badger, delighted at the skill of his engineers. 
" Receive my heartiest congratulations, my dear Cornill6." 

" Pardon me, my lord," resumed the latter ; -^ that this work is not 
all my own, you know. Jack Adams and I laid out the plans to- 
gether before leaving London. As to the buildings of the works, it 
is to modest Blacton, who is hidden over there behind the others, that 
the principal credit is due. Come, my worthy collaborator, come 
forward, then, to receive the praise due to your labors." 

" My friends," said Badger, " everybody has done his duty and is 
keeping his promises. I thank all in the name of all." 

It was decided that they should begin by visiting the buildings set 
apart for the dynamo-electric machines. They descended from the 
platform of the tower to the lower terraces by a stair-case more rapidly 
than by the broad road running on an inclined plane. 

Cornille opened a door, and the visitors found themselves in a large 
hall constructed half of wood, half of bricks. Floods of sunshine 
entered through widely opened windows. 

" Here we are in the large hall of the dynamo-electric motors," 
said the engineer. 

" Which ? " asked Laycock. 

" Those which work by the aid of steam-engines." 

"And where are these steam-engines?" asked Captain Laycock, in 
his turn. " I don't see any." 

" They are in a building parallel to this. You see that horizontal 
shaft that runs through the centre of the hall from one end to the 
other?" 

" Yes." 

" Well, this shaft receives its rotary movement by a series of wheel- 
works which are themselves set in motion by the steam-engines in the 
other buildino^." 

" And the dynamo-electric motors themselves are set in action by 
the horizontal shaft ? " said Monaghan. 

"Just so." 

"Perhaps these gentlemen would rather see the buildings of the 
steam-engines first," said Jack Adams, in his turn. 



172 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

"Oh, yes !" exclaimed Miss Nelly, "it is curious to see these great 
iron monsters work." 

The attraction exerted by the steam-engines is easily understood. 
They seem endowed with life, and what a life ! No living being, no 
marine monster possesses so powerful a breath. What a regularity in 
the action of their enormous muscles ! The powerful rods which the 
cylinders cause to move backwards and forwards, th^ beams which rise 
and descend, give a terrifying idea of their power. And when they 
spit fire and belch forth clouds of smoke, as if ready to pulverize 
everything in their way, man, though the creator of these terrible 
engines, begins to fear them. He dreads the effects of the formidable 
forces which he has himself set to work. 

The building with the machinery was much less spacious than the 
first. It contained but two steam-engines. But how powerful they 
appeared ! 

" These two engines will be sufficient for our first experiments," said 
the engineer. " The boilers of the one will be heated with coal, the 
other with petroleum. And neither the one nor the other will be 
wanting, according to the information which Monaghan has already 
given me concerning the beds discovered by him in the course of your 
journey." 

They examined the boilers, the steam-engines. Everything was 
placed in the best condition. They then returned to the first building, 
that of the electric motors. 

" 3Ionsieur Cornill6," said Miss Nelly, " could you be kind enough 
to give me a few explanations concerning these electric motors ? " 

" With great pleasure. Miss Badger," said Cornill6, happy to seize 
this opportunity of being brought together with his idol. 

" What interests me most," continued Miss Nelly, " is electricity. 
Steam is already well known. At Jezireh I have seen the motor of 
the hydraulic works in action. Mr. Adams has taught me the first 
rudiments ; you see, therefore, that I am a savant ! " 

While the rest of the party continued to inspect the machines 
Cornill6 remained behind with Miss Nelly and Fatma, who was as 
desirous of being instructed as her mistress. They stopped before a 
first group of five motors. 

" These are five Gramme machines, called after their celebrated in- 
ventor," said the engineer to the two young girls. 

"One of your compatriots, I suppose?" asked Miss Nelly. 



I 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



173 



" Yes, a Frenchman. This machine is composed of two big electro- 
magnets, placed horizontally one above the other. The two centres 
form magnetized poles of a considerable power. A ring turns be- 
tween the two poles in a plane perpendicular to that of the two electro- 
magnets." 




" This ring is curious," interrupted the young girl. " I would like 
very much to know how it is made." 

" It is' an iron disk which bears a large number of little bobbins. 
This particular arrangement forms the really new part of the Gramme 
machines." 



174 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

"I understand," said Miss Nelly. "I see perfectly the various 
rollings of the little bobbins. But, dear me ! how complicated an 
electric machine is ! " 

" As for me," declared Fatma, " I do not understand it at all." 

" That is not my fault," said Cornille, laughing ; " to understand 
anything of it one must first be a savant, like Miss Nelly." 

" These five motors," continued the engineer, " serye to produce the 
electric light. This evening you will see our workshops lit up as in 
broad daylight. The lamps will receive their electricity from the 
machines which are before you." 

" We shall come to see them work," said Miss Nelly. 

" Oh, yes ! " cried Fatma, overjoyed at the thought of seeing an illu- 
mination. 

At this moment Badger's voice was heard at the end of the room : 

" We are going to visit the second machinery hall ; you will find 
us there presently." 

" We will rejoin you in five minutes," replied Cornille. 

The engineer conducted the two young girls before another series of 
motors. 

" These machines," said he, ^' have been invented by Hefner von Al- 
teneck, and are most frequently designated by the name of Siemens 
machines, after the name of their constructor. This motor, like the 
Gramme machine, is composed of two electro-magnets formed by sev- 
eral bars of soft iron. These bars are bent into semi-circles in their 
centre, leaving a space between each of them and encompassing as 
tightly as possible a drum-shaped ring. If you will pass to the other 
side. Miss Badger, I shall describe this drum to you. It is formed by 
round wooden plates, pierced by the axis of revolution. Metal wires 
are first rolled around this drum, so as to cover it with an armature 
of soft iron. Then this first covering is covered with oiled silk, serv- 
ing as an insulator. Lastly, on this so prepared cylinder copper wire 
is rolled." 

Cornille stopped short in his explanations. Miss Nelly, who had 
passed to the other side of the machine, was opposite to the engineer. 
Leaning forward, she was attentively regarding what Cornille showed 
her, when, raising her little head, it almost brushed that of the young 
man, and by an accident their hands touched. 

The two lovers nearly betrayed themselves. Thanks to the control 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 175 

which women have over themselves, it was Miss Nelly who was the 
first to recover herself. 

" Let us go and see the other machines," said she, with a perfectly 
calm air, and proceeding towards the door through which her father 
had gone out. 

" Let us go and see the other machines ! " exclaimed Fatma, in her 
turn, parodying her mistress in her most mischievous manner. 

When the latter had rejoined the rest of the company she had re- 
covered her composure, and no one would have suspected what emotion 
she had just felt. 

" What a power of will in so young a head," said the engineer to 
himself; "does she really love me?" 

The new machinery hall which the two young girls, followed by 
their cicerone, had just entered, was much larger than the first. It ex- 
tended over two sides of the parallelogram formed by the Kasr. 

In this hall had been placed a specimen of every dynamo-electric 
motor constructed up to this day. And they were not few in num- 
ber ! These motors have nothing really new as to their principle. 
They are simply more or less ingenious combinations of the motors of 
Gramme and Siemens. Yet, as nothing in matters of improvement 
must ever be neglected, even the apparently most futile details, Cor- 
nille and Jack Adams had decided to submit the principal machines 
of recent innovation to a strict inspection. Thanks to this wise man- 
ner of proceeding, they would certainly be enabled to employ only the 
most improved engines when the time should come to construct the 
final works. 

" This motor," Jack Adams was saying at this moment, pointing out 
one of the machines, " this motor will serve to light up our apartments 
with incandescent lamps. It is that of Maxim." 

A little farther on another motor attracted notice by its considerable 
proportions. It was the giant of the place. 

" What you see there," continued the engineer, " is the Edison mo- 
tor. Its weight is fifty thousand pounds. It will be able to feed a 
thousand lamps." 

" With which to light up the whole of Liberty," said Monaghan. 

" It will serve for the light-house which overlooks the Kasr," re- 
plied Adams. 

" A pretty gas-light, that," observed Cahuzac. " You could light 
up Bagdad from Babylon." 



17g BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

"No," said Cornill^, recovered from his recent agitation. " But, at 
least, our light-house will be visible at Bagdad." 

" Is there not another hall? " asked Badger, as they passed out of 
the building. 

" Yes," said Cornill^, " we have another, smaller hall which occu- 
pies the fourth side of the Kasr. But it is empty at present." 

"For what do you intend it?" asked Monaghan.* 

" It will contain electro-motors, that is to say, machines which, in- 
versely from the preceding, will receive their movement through an 
electric current. The machines which you have just seen will trans- 
form movement into electricity ; those which we await will, on the 
contrary, transform electricity into movement." 

" Well, then, until later on," said the geologist. 

They repaired again to the staircase which led to the upper plat- 
form ; then they entered an immense quadrangular hall, covering alone 
three-quarters of the terrace. 

Here there were no more machines, no more motors. Only a mul- 
titude of cubical glass vessels. On each of these vessels there was a 
plate of wood, painted black ; on each side of these plates two im- 
mense knobs of brass. These accumulators — for the glass vessels were 
nothing else than accumulators — were divided into six series of six 
different models. All facilities would thus be offered for making 
comparisons and deciding which of these models was to be adopted 
in the final experiments. 

The hall, which had the form of a long rectangle, had, therefore, 
been divided into six compartments. A broad passage enabled one to 
move easily around each one of them. 

Cornill6 and Jack Adams gave many explanations. They showed 
in what the difference in each system of accumulators consisted. 

Kothing now remained to be seen in the halls, where the concen- 
trated heat became suffocating. Miss Nelly proposed that they should 
ascend again to the platform, where refreshments and seats had been 
brought, and to rest a few moments in the shadow of the tower before 
proceeding to Babel. 

The proposition was accepted with enthusiasm, and a few minutes 
later the whole party was collected around the improvised lunch. 

" Mr. Adams," said Miss Nelly, who was doing credit to the colla- 
tion, " I would like very much to know now how you are going to 
make use of the immense material which we have just seen. For me^ 



BABYLON ELECTEIFIED. 



177 



who am not so learned as these gentlemen, that which is most impor- 
tant for me to know is the results/' 

*^ You are right, Miss Badger," replied the engineer, " and I can 
satisfy you immediately. The accumulators are intended to receive 
electricity from several sources and to condense it. When they are 
charged it will be possible for us to adapt the electricity to a large 




number of uses. Now, which will be the sources which are to charge 
the accumulators ? They will have four quite distinct origins : 
Firstly, the hydraulic works which I have established on the upper 
Tigris and those w^hich I shall establish later on its affluents. The 
electric fluid will arrive from these distant regions by underground 
wires which will traverse the sandy plains, as I have already had the 
privilege of explaining to you during our voyage." 

"All your explanations are yet before my mind." 

" Secondly," resumed Jack Adams, " the motors which we visited 
but a moment ago. For this end we shall utilize the coal and petro- 
leum, which we possess in great quantity. For, although we shall 
12 . 



178 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

seek after this to create new forces, we do not intend to deprive our- 
selves of those which nature gives us so liberally at the present time. 
Thirdly, the powerful thermo-electric pile constructed by my friend 
Cornill6 at the summit of Babel." 

"And which we are going to visit presently," said Miss Nelly, cast- 
ing a stealthy glance at Cornill6, who, a little apart from the group 
formed by Miss Nelly, Jack Adams, and Fatma, af)peared serious and 
preoccupied. 

" The thermo-electric pile will transform the solar rays directly into 
electricity. In conclusion, fourthly, hydraulic apparatus, which I 
shall establish on the borders of the Persian Gulf in a few weeks, 
will also be placed in communication with ^:he accumulators by means 
of an underground wire." 

" Why these new apparatus, will those of the Tigris not be suffi- 
cient?" 

" Those of the Tigris will utilize only the waterfalls of the rivers, 
while those of the Persian Gulf will utilize the waves of the sea, the 
tides, and the winds." > 

"Astonishing ! " said Cahuzac, who had listened to the engineer's 
words, " these people no longer doubt anything. They will finish by 
taking down the moon, the sun and the stars, to make electricity of 
them." 

Everybody began to laugh. This gave the signal for departure, 
and they set out for Babel. 

Seen from a little distance. Babel diifered in appearance from the 
Kasr. Here there were no more constructions by different rows — no 
more buildings of various and strange forms. The exterior facing 
was the same ; but as it would have been too difficult and would have 
taken too long to construct walls of one hundred and twenty-five feet 
in height, the enclosing wall began only mid-way on the slope, which 
reduced the height to sixty feet. All the space comprised between the 
encircling wall and the upper plateau had been filled up with earth 
and bricks. But then it had been necessary to strengthen the wall 
with powerful counterforts ; in default of which, the thrust of the 
materials would speedily have shaken it. 

If the Kasr resembled a strong castle. Babel offered a most striking 
similarity with a citadel. The large terrace which formed its top was 
reached by a broad stairway of a hundred steps. 

" I intend, later on," said Cornill6 at the moment when the little 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 179 

party was walking along the balustrade which led to the first steps 
of the stairway, "to cover the rubbish which forms the slope with 
vegetable mould and to plant trees there. Babel will thus be sur- 
rounded by a belt of vegetation/' 

"An excellent idea," said Badger ; " one will no longer be exposed, 
as we are at this moment, to receiving the full reflection of the sun 
from the bricks." 

The ascent was in truth arduous, especially for Miss Nelly and 
Fatma. 

"A little more courage, ladies," said Cornille ; " you will have shade 
above there. I have had a tent set up on purpose." 

" It is to be believed," said Cahuzac, " that the sun wishes to show 
us that we are entering his domain. What a heat there is here ! If 
you convert all that into electricity, there will be enough to light up 
the whole earth." 

" Not as much as you think," replied the engineer, laughing. 

At last all arrived at the upper terrace. They quickly sought 
shelter under the tent, where it was comparatively cool. 

It is, in fact, noticeable that in the countries where the sun darts 
forth its rays with the greatest intensity, it is cool wherever one is out 
of their reach ; while, in the damp climates, the difference between the 
sunny places and the shady spots is hardly perceptible. 

A few minutes after their arrival, the visitors proceeded towards the 
portions of the thermo-solar pile that had already been set up. What 
there was of it was of little importance in comparison with the rest. 
Hardly fifty elements of the ten thousand of which the total pile was 
to be composed were here collected. It was thus as yet nothing but a 
simple experiment, sufficient, however, to permit of judging the final 
result. 

These elements of the thermo-solar pile had a singular appearance. 
They were long, blackish, metallic plates, presenting their surfaces to 
the rays of the sun. All these plates communicated one with the 
other by means of copper wires. 

But what was the strangest of all was the long vat which extended 
below this metallic covering. 

" This is petroleum in here," said Cahuzac, after having dipped his 
finger into the liquid contained in the vat. 

" Yes," replied Cornille. " I use that liquid for insulating the ele- 



180 BABYLON ELECTKIFIED. 

ments of my thermo-electric pile, and, at the same time, for cooling 
the pole opposite to that which receives the heat of the sun/^ 

Coming's pile was examined a long time. This agent was new. 
From it the most considerable results were expected. No one had the 
right to ascend to the summit of Babel but the members of the asso- 
ciation and a few workmen on whose silence they could absolutely 
depend. In order to be admitted here, Cahuzac and Grimmitschoifer 
had been obliged to take oath, just like the others, never to reveal 
anything of what they were about to see. 

" Now, what are those immense cones of tin that I see glittering in 
the sun over there,'^ Cahuzac suddenly asked ; " is that another thermo- 
electric pile ? " 

"No," said Cornill^. "You will be enlightened on this point in a 
moment, my dear Cahuzac. I am just about to take you all over 
there.'' 

They proceeded towards these lai-ge cones which the photographer 
had pointed out. They shone in the sun like beacons, and some of 
the reflections were so strong as to be borne Avith difficulty by the eye. 
There were three similar apparatus in a row. 

" I introduce to you the solar apparatus of Messrs. Mouchot and 
Pifre,'' said Cornill^. 

" For what do they serve ? " asked Miss Nelly. 

" To boil water in a boiler. With this boiling water a steam-engine 
can be put in motion." 

." I was in Paris," said Cahuzac, " on the day when Monsieur Pifre 
set up one of these apparatus in the gardens of the Tuileries. The 
boiler served to feed a small steam-engine, which in turn set a small 
Marinoni press in motion. The press worked regularly from one 
o'clock to five o'clock in the evening." 

"I have seen these interesting experiments myself," resumed the 
engineer. " Here, with the sun of Mesopotamia, we shall arrive at 
much better results." 

" What advantages do you think will be drawn one day from these 
apparatus, more improved?" asked Lay cock. "When coal shall be 
wanting, will it be possible to replace it by the Mouchot apparatus?" 

"In the first place, there will be the thermo-solar piles," replied 
Corn i 116. " But, besides, the Mouchot apparatus will be able to render 
signal service in a large number of cases. The solar receivers will 
admit of being used otherwise than for bringing water in a boiler to 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



181 



ebullition. Salomon de Caux, in 1615, constructed a thermic machine 
working with the aid of the sun. B^lidor also invented a pump of 
the same class. 3fo7isieur Mouchot has succeeded in producing a large 
number of chemical reactions. You see, therefore, that it is possible 
to obtain an infinite number of industrial operations with the sun.'' 





Lord Badger had been right in predicting 
that Captain Laycock would not be able to remain long at rest. For 
two weeks they were leading the agreeably and intelligently occupied 
life which we have just described, when one evening, at dinner, the 
intrepid mariner made the proposition to have a hunting-party the 
next day. 

This motion was received with joy by those present. It was de- 
cided that every one should take part in the sport, as the work would 
not suffer by a few hours' absence of the superiors. Grimm w^as the 
only one to declare that it would be impossible for him to take part in 
the hunt, on account of the excavations which he could not leave for 
a single day. No one asked him to alter his mind. 

Next day, at the first faint gleam of dawn, everybody was in the 
saddle. The morning appeared superb, although the atmosphere was 
a little close. The heat had been oppressive during the preceding 
days. 

It had been decided to proceed towards the north, ascending the lefl 
bank of the Euphrates. Here there lay broad spaces, covered wdth 
high grasses, where the catptain had discovered the presence of a large 

(182) 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 183 

number of animals. At six o'clock the little party had cleared over 
six miles. A halt was made. The horses were tied to the trunks of 
some stunted palms, grown there by accident, and the chase began. 

Ten minutes later the shooting began on all sides. From the 
rapidity with which the shots succeeded each other it was easy to con- 
jecture that game abounded. In fact, the game-bags filled up visibly. 
No pity was shown, and the number of victims was considerable. 

At ten o'clock, as had been agreed upon, every one came to the 
place of rendezvous — a palm-tree a little better furnished with foliage 
than the others. Contrary to expectation, the sun was less hot than 
had been feared. Its reddish disk seemed obscured by an invisible 
vapor. Monaghan showed a certain inquietude. 

" This is not natural," said he to the hunters ; ^' some storm is brew- 
ing that Avill not be long in breaking loose. Let us be on our guard ; 
these atmospheric phenomena are to be feared in these regions." 

Captain Laycoek, on the contrary, insisted that the interrupted 
hunt should be resumed. 

^'We have time," said he; "the sun has been gracious enough to 
veil itself for us ; let us take advantage of it. When we see the 
storm approaching Ave shall take up the road to Babylon again. With 
our horses we shall travel faster than it." 

The hunt was, therefore, begun again with renewed ardor. 

During this time Green was preparing one of those excellent dinners 
of which he knew the secret. The wines of Burgundy and of the 
Rhine would not be wanting and would give renewed strength for the 
exploits of the afternoon. 

On their return the hunters found the table set. The horseback 
ride in the morning and four hours of hunting in the meadows had 
sharpened their appetites. They ate ravenously, and little was spoken 
during the first part of the repast. 

Little by little the tongues became loosened. Cornill^ and Cahuzac, 
like true Frenchmen, led all the conversation, yet without monopoliz- 
ing it to themselves. Every one could have his say, give out his ideas. 
The conversation was charming and lively, dazzling and full of esprit. 
On this ground they were no longer in England, but rather in France, 
in Paris ! Monaghan alone was absorbed and seemed preoccupied. 
Two or three times he rose in order to examine the state of the sky in 
the direction of the horizon. 

The repast, however, had passed without accident and was nearing 



1^ BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

its end, when a sudden change occurred in the state of the atmosphere. 
Puffs of hot air succeeded each other at short intervals. Little whirl- 

winds raised columns of dust. 
It seemed as if the day were 
suddenly waning. 

"It's the storm," said 
Monaghan. *' We have not a 
moment to lose. Quick, to 
horse, and let us regain Liber- 
ty at full gallop.'' 

They rose precipitately. The 
coffee, brought immediately, 
was swallowed burning hot. 
Five minutes later the bag- 
gage was loaded again and 
everybody in the saddle, 
ready to leave. But at the 
moment when Badger gave 
the spurs to his horse the 
latter, instead of advancing, 
began to turn around itself, 
showing signs of a great ter- 
ror. Everything was in vain, 
caresses and threats, blows 
with the whip and pricks 
with the spur. The other 
horses followed the example 
of Badger's steed and refused 
to advance. Miss Nelly and 
Fatma would have been un- 
horsed if they had been less 
skilful riders. They had to 
resign themselves and dis- 
mount. 

But what was to be done ? 
The sky was becoming cov- 
ered with a yellow mist. At 
the zenith it was yet free from clouds ; but the transparent vapor ob- 
served in the morning was taking on the opacity of a great black 




BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 185 

cloud, increasing visibly, and behind which the sun appeared but as 
a pale, round spot, fading away rapidly. The air became suffocat- 
ing ; squalls of hot wind whirled up clouds of sand each minute. It 
was urgent to come to a decision. 

It was impossible to think of remaining in the plain, where no 
shelter whatever offered itself and where no obstacle would check the 
violence of the tempest. 

Monaghan proposed that they should take a direction perpendicular 
to that of the river and to go inland. Some tells were seen half a 
mile away. It would perhaps be possible to find a shelter there against 
the wind. 

There was no time for deliberation; Monaghan^s advice seemed 
good and they set out, turning their backs on the Euphrates. 

The horses, drawn by their bridles, advanced slowly. 

" They are looking towards the west,'' said the geologist, " the storm 
will come from there." 

In truth, the poor animals, with downcast and dejected look and 
evidently under the influence of an insurmountable terror, were turn- 
ing their heads in the direction indicated. A broad, scarlet-red band 
was beginning to appear at the horizon. 

A quarter of an hour, which seemed a century, elapsed before they 
were able to reach the border of the meadow. The tempests of the 
sea are as nothing in comparison with these frightful storms of impal- 
pable, burning and suffocating dust. \yho has not heard of caravans 
buried in the sands stirred up by the simoon in the midst of the Afri- 
can Sahara ? Now, it was precisely the simoon which was advancing, 
sweeping away everything in its passage, wrenching up everything ; 
the terrible simoon, known under the name of Sam in Mesopotamia. 

" Let us make haste," cried Monaghan ; " see the cyclone coming ; 
do not let us lose a second ! " 

Unfortunately they advanced only with extreme difficulty. 

" I am going to run ahead to look for shelter," cried Cornille, "and 
I shall come back to fetch you." 

And he darted forward. He was seen to disappear behind a hil- 
lock, then to reappear shortly afterward, beckoning to them to advance. 
But the horses absolutely refused to do so. 

" Let us abandon them," said Badger. 

" Try to bind up their eyes," said Cahuzac. 



1S6 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



This course succeeded as well as could be desired, and they were 
able to rejoin Cornill^ in a few minutes. 

"What have you found ?'^ asked Miss Nelly, who, in spite of all 
her energy, began to be agitated by fear. 

" Let us give thanks to Grimraitschoffer,'' replied Cornill6. " For 
once in liis life he will have been useful to his poor contemporaries. 
Thanks to his mania for making excavations everywhefe, he has pre- 




pared a large grotto for us, where we can be sheltered as long as the 
storm lasts." 

Indeed, after having wound around a series of tells of greater or 
less height, they arrived at a large excavation dug at the base of one 
of them. It was high time. The red band had enlarged consider- 
ably ; resembling an immense circle, it rose rapidly above the horizon 
and was about to reach the zenith. Behind it the sky took on a livid 
color, which took on a deeper and deeper hue, to become entirely 
black. There was something terrible, almost infernal, in the spectacle. 
It seemed as though the day was about to end and all nature to fall 
back into chaos. 

They entered the cavity. The roof appeared to be solid. It must 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 187 

have been a half-ruined ancient gallery which the excavations had 
brought to light. 

" What luck ! " remarked Jack Adams. ^^ This cavity is set ex- 
actly towards the east. We shall therefore have the wind at our 
backs.'' 

" Provided it does not fall down on our heads/' said Miss Nelly, 
looking uneasily at a deep crack which gaped in the roof. 

" You need have no fear, Miss Badger," replied Cornill^. " These 
walls have been in this state for centuries, and they will yet resist to- 
^ay the storm which is soon going to rage." 

" And the horses," said Badger, " we cannot have them come in here 
with us." 

^^ They do not run any further danger," said Laycock ; " we shall 
tie them together, a superfluous precaution, however, for they little 
think of running away at this moment. Just look at them." 

In fact, these animals, absolutely terrified, had lain down on the 
sand, trembling, pressing one against the other; each hid its head 
under the belly of its neighbor. 

" No matter ; we must fasten them notwithstanding," continued the 
captain, "for they might very likely run off when the storm is 
allayed." 

At the same instant the sun disappeared entirely behind the dark 
cloud and obscurity reigned. Laycock, Jack Adams and Cornill^ 
hastened to fasten the horses by their bridles. They had hardly re- 
entered the excavation, when the storm began to roar, terrifying, hor- 
rible. The squalls succeeded each other without interruption. The 
air, become irrespirable, had sulphurous emanations ; it seemed as if 
tainted by an unknown matter. 

In the interior of the grotto there was complete silence. These 
fearless companions, accustomed to struggle cheerfully with danger 
and to brave it, felt in this hour the inanity of their eiforts. 

In the presence of the awful convulsions of nature, man feels his 
impotency and his feebleness ; disarmed in the conflict with the un- 
conscious forces which crush him, he can only oppose to them an im- 
passive brow and a stoical resignation. Badger and his companions, 
standing up, their heads raised, accepted beforehand the decree of fate. 
Fatma, half fainted from fright, had crouched against her mistress, 
who, seated on a block of stone, her two hands clasped on the pretty 






jgg BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

head of the child, seemed to invoke the intervention of a higher and 
benevolent power. 

In the distance the bushes, torn from the sides of the hillocks, were 
seen to fly about in all directions ; immense columns of sand, brought 
over from the deserts of Arabia, passed by \vith a dizzy mpidity, 
smashing on the ground with a crash and scattering far and Avide. An 
imj)alpable dust penetrated everywhere. In spite Sf the veils, the 
handkerchiefs held over the mouth and nose, it entered the lungs and 
became suffocating. Ears and eyes were filled with it, the hair was 
powdered w^ith it. 

The storm lasted thus a full hour. Then the squalls diminished in 
violence ; the day reappeared slowly, less livid. The air became less 
hot and less irrespirable. 

" That is the end," said Monaghan in a voice made hoarse by the 
sand. 

Every one then awoke from his torpor. Miss Nelly and Fatma 
went to the entrance of the grotto to witness the last ragings of the 




hurricane. Cahuzac made his way by crawling around the horses and 
came back pushing a hamper before him which still contained 
several bottles of wine with their seals intact. They could drink 
something limpid and allay the intolerable uncomfortableness caused 
by thirst and by the sand. 

At once everybody recovered his speech. They congratulated each 
other on having escaped from danger and from a death that would 
have been almost inevitable if, instead of being able to seek shelter in 
the bottom of an excavation, they had been obliged to breast the storm 
in the open country. Perhaps they would now have been buried under 
a thick layer of sand. 

At five o'clock the sky had recovered its clearness and transparency. 
They mounted their horses again, and an hour later they were at 
Liberty. Each one was in haste to get to his room, in order to divest 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



himself of his clothes, which had become veritable haircloth, and to 
plunge into a cool bath. 

When they were united again for dinner some one was wanting — it 
was Grimmitschoifer. Inquiry concerning him was held among the 
servants; nobody had seen him return. There was no longer any 
doubt ; he also had been surprised by the storm. They must go to 
his assistance. 

By a lucky accident, and contrary to his custom, Grimm had men- 
tioned the day before in what place he intended to conduct his re- 
searches. It was a tell situated at about two miles from Liberty. 
Lay cock, Jack Adams, Cornill^ and Cahuzac, each provided with a 
lantern, proceeded with all haste in that direction. For greater pre- 
caution they had also taken a litter with them. 

On arriving at 
the spot indicated, 
our rescuers began 
their search at once. 
Several tells arose 
in the same place 
and formed a sort 
of labyrinth. Each 
one took a diiferent 
direction. A quar- 
ter of an hour 

elapsed without any other sound being heard but that of the settling 
of the sand under the feet of the searchers. At last Jack Adams' 
voice resounded in the distance : 

" This way ! Come this way ! '' 

They all directed their steps towards the quarter whence these calls 
came, and soon perceived Jack Adams bending over a body stretched 
out at full length and no longer giving any sign of life. 

" Does he live ? " they asked as they came up. 

"Yes,'' replied the engineer; "but the beatings of his heart are 

feeble." 

Corning raised up the dying man's head and succeeded in introduc- 
ing a few drops of brandy into his mouth. At the contact with the 
burning liquid Grimm made a movement, a light afflux of blood 
mounted to his cheeks, he breathed several times with difficulty. 
Cornill6 made him swallow another mouthful. The respiration then 







190 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

became more regular. A few seconds later Grimm opened his eyes. 
He looked about him with stupefaction ; then, closing his eyes again, 
he fell back heavily on the ground and fainted away. 

The case was grave without being hopeless. Before all, it was ne- 
cessary to transport Grimm to Liberty. He was placed on the litter 
— still unconscious — ^and the road to the city was slowly retraced. 

On arriving, Grimm was laid on his bed and bled.* This energetic 
treatment soon produced its eifect. Next morning he had completely 
recovered his senses and was able to get up. But he was very weak 
and had to be nursed carefully for several days. 

Apart from the accident which happened to the antiquary, the sam 
made no other victims. The damage at Liberty had been insignifi- 
cant. The centre of the cyclone had passed quite far away, exactly in 
the place to which the hunters had gone. The Ksar and Babel had 
not suffered. 

Grimmitschoffer, from this day on, showed a deep gratitude towards 
his friends. But for them he would be lying dead amid the sands. 
He had more indulgence for the weakness of their minds, narrowed 
by the illiberal processes of modern criticism. He held their work in 
higher esteem, in spite of all its incompleteness, and acknowledged 
that modern man, on the whole, had some good qualities. At bottom 
Grimm was much better than he appeared to be. A maniac, like all 
those who make a too exclusive study of antiquity, expressing disdain 
for the things of the present time, because he had lived too much in 
the dust of libraries and in the company of old books, his heart had 
remained confiding and good like that of a child. Finally, he pos- 
sessed a virtue that has probably been rare at all times — gratitude for 
sei-vices rendered him. 




I 




'■■ & ' ^ WV ''■ ''^'" ' ' ' F FROM BABYLON TO 



'J 



THE PERSIAN GULF. 



r- ' ' 



It had been decided that, while awaiting the end of the labors, they 
would go to the shores of the Persian Gulf in order to study the 
setting-up of the new works, intended, if the necessity for doing so 
made itself felt, to transform into electricity the force of the tides, of 
the waves of the sea and of the winds. 

Jack Adams and Monaghan could have undertaken these investiga- 
tions alone; but Lord Badger and Miss Nelly were particularly 
anxious to descend the Euphrates, or, more properly speaking, the 
Shat-el-Arab, to its mouth at the sea. Their journey in the Orient 
would have seemed incomplete to them if it were not continued to the 
celebrated gulf which has played so important a role in all the inter- 
national relations of the ancient world and on the shores of which high 
scientific authorities place the true origin of Arabic civilization. 

As to Cahuzac, he preferred to stay with his friend Cornill4, either 
because he felt instinctively that the latter would have need of diver- 
sion in the absence of Lord Badger and his daughter, or because, for 
the moment, he had really enough of traveling. A yet more extraor- 
dinary fact was that Grimmitschoffer also declared that he wished 
to remain in Babylon. In vain Miss Nelly impressed it upon him 

(101) 



192 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

that they were going to coast along the shores of ancient Chaldea and 
that he would probably make interesting discoveries. Grimm put on 
his most solemn and enigmatic air, affirmed that he had nothing fur- 
ther to learn from Chaldea and that the excavations which he had 
been able to undertake, " thanks to Lord Badger's bounty," added he, 
bowing courteously, were too important to make it possible for him to 
abandon them. On the day set for departure, Badger, his daughter, 
Fatma, Jack Adams and Monaghan were, therefore, the only ones to 
embark on the Electncity. Captain Laycock had insisted that they 
should hasten to take advantage of the last days during which the 
Euphrates would still be navigable to its junction with the first af- 
fluent which it meets with below Hillah. 

When the little ship weighed its anchor, handkerchiefs were waved 
on both sides, as if a long separation were in question. A quarter of 
an hour after the departure. Miss Nelly could still perceive in the dis- 
tance a flag which floated from the top of the tower on the Kasr. 

From Babylon to Divaniyeh, the Euphrates offers nothing remark- 
able. The banks are very low ; rice-fields, as far as the eye can reach, 
where now and then an Arab, bending forward, his bare legs half 
sunk in the muddy soil, is occupied in laboriously transplanting' the 
stalks of rice. 

The current, rapid at first, allowed the Electricity to descend the 
river quickly; but, little by little, the water diminished in breadth 
and depth. If this continued much longer, they might well ask them- 
selves whether a sufficiently large channel for navigation would be left. 
Captain Laycock, standing in the middle of the bridge, attentively 
watched the course of the vessel through these narrow channels. 

" It is singular," said Miss Nelly to him at dinner, " the Euphrates 
becomes narrower as it approaches the sea. It is thus the very oppo- 
site of the other rivers, which are almost inlets of the sea at their 
mouths. Just look at the Thames, the Seine, the Gironde, the Scheldt, 
the Danube." 

" Patience, Miss Badger, the Euphrates will soon do as the other 
rivers, and will proudly bear the tribute of its abundant waters to the 
Indian Ocean. The cause of its present narrowness is accidental. 
Have you forgotten then that the canal of Hindiyah, which begins 
al)ove Babylon, turns off a portion of its waters to feed the sea of 
Nedjef ? But let this same Hindiyah return, and you will see the 
Euphrates regain its normal width." 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. I93 

Meanwhile, the river dried up more and more. In the neighbor- 
hood of Lamlum the marshes began. The banks, on both sides, were 
now but immense plains of reeds, from which the sound of the steam, 
escaping noisily from the boiler, caused myriads of aquatic birds to 
fly up. The captain was furious at not being able to send a few good 
shots after them. His sporting instincts were aroused at sight of these 
innumerable fowls. But delay was not to be thought of — not a minute 
Avas to be lost — if they did not want to run the risk of seeing the vessel 
run aground. It is in the midst of these marshes that the Euphrates 
has its narrowest point — a little over two hundred feet in width. Its 
depth also diminished visibly. Several times there had already been 
heard, under the hull, a singular noise, which gave the captain great 
uneasiness. 

" The boat is grazing the muddy bottom," said he. " If the level 
of the Euphrates sinks a few inches yet, we shall be unable to advance 
any farther." 

The Euphrates fell over seven inches on that very day. 

At four o'clock in the afternoon a violent concussion shook the ves- 
sel, whose hull had sunk deeply into a sand-bank. Miss Nelly and 
Fatma, who were sitting in the saloon, were suddenly thrown to the 
floor. The very thick carpet softened their fall, so that they received 
only some light contusions. The other passengers were more or less 
hurt, but none seriously. A sailor only, hurled head foremost against 
a corner of the engine-ladder, was picked up unconscious. 

In an instant everybody was on deck. 

" What is the matter ? What has happened ? " asked the two young 
girls, while the men remained silent and impassive. 

The captain did not stop to reply to his passengers. He had other 
cares at that moment than to play the agreeable towards the ladies. 
He must assure himself before all that the engine was not in danger 
and that no leak showed itself The Electricity was solidly built and 
had not suffered. This result ascertained, and then only, the captain 
returned to his companions and explained to them what had just hap- 
pened so unexpectedly. 

" The ship has run aground on a sand-bank. Have no fear ; there 
is no danger. Is anybody hurt ? " 

They showed him the sailor, who was still unconscious. He exam- 
ined him and found that the swoon was caused simply by a rather 
severe concussion of the brain. By his orders, the wounded man was 
13 



194 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

conveyed to the sailors' quarters and caused to inhale salts. A quarter 
of an hour later he appeared on deck again, still somewhat stunned, 
but in a fair way to recovery. 

And now, what was to become of them ? Would it be possible to 
extricate themselves ? The captain had the engine work backwards. 
The vessel trembled, but did not back an inch. After an hour's efforts, 
nothing remained for them to do but to fold their arnfs. Night liad set 
in. It was best to wait until next day before deciding on what course 
to take. They descended to the saloon, took supper as if nothing ex- 
traoixlinary had occurred, and went quietly to bed. 

Yet the situation might become critical ; they were sunk in the 
mud, amidst an inextricable forest of reeds, and distant from all assist- 
ance. But the characteristic of English courage is calmness. We 
others — we Frenchmen — are second to none as regards intrepidity. 
Only, we must act this intrepidity en virtuose. Our courage is expan- 
sive, talkative, exaggerated if need be. To die singing is an essen- 
tially French device. If an Englishman were obliged to find its 
})endant, to die silently is what he would probably inscribe on his 
escutcheon. According to one's disposition, or perhaps also according 
to circumstances, one is at liberty to give the preference to English 
courage or to French valor ; one thing is beyond doubt, that the two 
nations have always found it to their advantage to unite and employ 
their similar yet different qualities towards a common end. 

Next morning, on awaking. Miss Nelly was agreeably surprised to 
feel the ship moving. She looked out of the cabin window ; it was 
not to be denied, the Electricity was running at full speed on the Eu- 
phrates ; reeds and marshes had disappeared. 

" Then I have dreamed last night," she said to herself. 

She dressed hastily, without waking Fatma, who was still asleep, 
and ascended to the deck, where her father was alone with the captain. 
The latter was saying to his lordship : 

" There has been a fresh rise in. the water last night. Thanks to 
this fortunate circumstance, we have been enabled to set the vessel 
afloat again, and to get off from the sands. We have passed the dan- 
gerous point, and we now have nothing similar to fear.'' 

" I felt no uneasiness at any time," replied Badger. "And you, my 
daughter?" 

" Nor I either. You know well, father, that with you I should go 
without fear to the end of the world." 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 195 

''You see that I was right, Miss Nelly," said the captain to the 
young girl, '' the Euphrates has regained its original width." 

" The Hindiyah has returned then ? " 

" Yes, we passed its mouth at six o'clock in the morning. You 
were still asleep. But wait a little, we are soon going to pass a branch 
of the Tigris." 

" How, a branch of the Tigris?" 

" Yes, that is strange, isn't it ? Above Babylon it is the Euphrates 
which discharges a part of its waters into the Tigris. Below, it is the 
Tigris which flows in part into the Euphrates ; these alternations show 
what a small difference in level there is between the basins of the two 
rivers." 

A half liour had hardly elapsed when the Electricity passed oppo- 
site to the derivation announced by the captain. It was, however, but 
a broad canal, offering nothing remarkable. Its waters were never- 
theless sufficiently abundant to visibly enlarge the bed of the river, 
and from then on navigation became much more easy. 

The region through which they were passing had a less wild ap- 
pearance. The cultivations became more important ; cities were passed. 
Nazrieh, built at the junction of the Shat-el-Hai — the new derivation 
of the Tigris and of the Euphrates — held the attention of the travelers 
to a high degree. 

"Why, look, we have come back to Europe," cried Miss Nelly; 
" see, there are houses like in England." 

" AV^e are nevertheless still in Mesopotamia," replied Jack Adams ; 
"only Nazrieh was built by a Belgian engineer, who thought of 
nothing better — although the climatic conditions were diametrically 
opposed — than to construct, on the banks of the Tigris and of the 
Euphrates, a city which was the exact copy of those on the shores of 
the Mouse or of the Scheldt. At Liberty we have been better inspired." 

Nevertheless it was decided to visit the city, as much from interest 
as from curiosity. Nazrieh might offer peculiarities useful to imitate 
at Liberty. It is always good to consult the experience of others. 

The vessel was passing through ancient Chaldea, the one country 
in the world which has perhaps exercised the most decisive influence 
on the destinies of humanity since the times that can be called historic. 
It is here that the invention of phonetic writing is generally laid. It 
is true that it is also attributed sometimes to the Phoenicians and to 
the Egyptians. These employed it for common uses, while the hiero- 



196 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

glyphic writing was reserved for sacred uses. It is perhaps correct to 
attribute the same discovery to several nations. At a certain point of 
intellectual development, it may happen that nations, having attained 
the same degree of civilization, make the same inventions simultane- 
ously. 

Be that as it may, whether the priority in the most marvelous of 
man's discoveries belongs to Chaldea or not, there i^another kind of 
glory which cannot be denied it — that of having been the religious in- 
structress of the white, Semitic and Japhetic races. The native land 
of the three great monotheistic religions — Judaism, Christianity and 
Islamism — our traditions, our legends come to us from her, and, 
thanks to the European spirit of initiation and of propagation, they 
will soon have made the tour of the world. 

Alas ! Chaldea has fallen greatly from its ancient splendor. En- 
tire cities here are built of reeds. Our travelers saw 
an example of this when passing before 
Suk-e-Sheyukh. The successors of those 
who instructed the world have now only 
slight branches to shelter them from the 
inclemencies of the weather. This results 
from the difference of the races. If the 
soil is less fertile, if the pestilential 
marshes and barren sands have re- 
placed well-tilled fields and fertile 
plains, the fault must be charged 
I to the carelessness of the present inhabi- 
tants. The ancient Chaldeans were coura- 
geous and industrious men, the modern 
Arab returns to nomadfe life. 

After a journey of several days the Electricity arrived at the 
junction of the two rivers. A large village, Kurna, is situated at the 
very extremity of the point. 

The appearance of the two rivers differs entirely. 
"You might believe yourself to be at Lyons,'' said Miss Nelly, 
"at the junction of the Rhone and the Saone. While the Tigris is 
the Rhone with its impetuosity and its dizzy rapidity, the Euphrates 
represents the slow and majestic course of the Saone." 

" Do you know the signification of the word Tigris?" Monaghan 
asked the young girl. 




I 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. Id7 

"Not at all." 

" Tigris means arrow." 

" Then it is very well named. You call to my mind that, accord- 
ing to my old professor of geography, Rhone comes from the Celtic 
and signifies rapid river, but arrow seems to me a more happy name." 

The stream of water formed by the union of the Tigris and tlie 
Euphrates, and which bears the name of Shat-el-Arab, presents a 
magnificent appearance. Its broad sheet seems boundless. The banks 
arc low ; river, plain and sky are confounded in one undecided line. 
The blue of the firmament tinges the waves ; the rays of the sun 
cause the sands of the desert to glisten far and wide ; all is but one 
sheaf of light, one immense glow. 

" How beautiful it is ! " Miss Nelly murmured again and again, 
leaning on the balustrade of the ship. " I have never seen anything 
like it." 

In the neighborhood of Bassorah the landscape was not the same. 
The plantations of date-trees formed veritable forests. The view, in- 
stead of extending boundlessly towards all points of the horizon, was 
bounded on the riglit and on the left by a curtain of verdure. 

They were rapidly approaching the sea. The tides began to make 
themselves felt. 

These tides are not very strong, for the Persian Gulf, which is, as 
it Avere, a pendant of the Red Sea, or Arabian Gulf, is, like the latter, 
deeply embanked in the land and communicates with the Indian 
Ocean only by the narrow inlet of the Strait of Ormuz. Neverthe- 
less, on account of the small elevation of the banks of the river, its 
waters, mingled with the waves of the sea, inundate the forests of 
palms twice a day at high tide. 

Under the influence of this constant moisture, and of the sea-salt 
which forms an excellent manure for them, the date-trees of Bassorah 
give the best dates in the whole world. 

They stopped a whole day at Bassorah. Badger was desirous of 
visiting some of his compatriots who have established important bank- 
ing and commercial houses in this city. This time they had returned 
entirely to civilization. The new city, built on the banks of the river, 
is wholly European in appearance, in manners and in language. 

For all that, or perhaps even on account of that, it had little attrac- 
tion for our travelers. A striking proof of the facility with which 



198 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

one becomes disaccustomed to the civilization of the cities if one has 
only tasted free and independent life. 

Old Bassorah interested them more. Like Venice, it is built on 
canals, the walls of its buildings plunging directly into the water. 

The interrupted voyage was resumed with pleasure. They were in 
haste to reach the shores of the sea. Down to Fao, a small city situ- 
ated at the very mouth of the river, the panorama remained the same 
— forests of date-palms, fruit-trees in abundance, well-cultivated fields, 
which seemed of an extraordinary fertility ; at times immense sur- 
faces covered with wheat. 

"One cannot imagine the fertility of the soil," said Monaghan. 
" There are years in which the abundance of the crops is such that the 
natives feed their cattle with wheat, and the cattle even being unable 
to consume it entirely, they are compelled to use it as fuel." 

" And to think," remarked Jack Adams, " that at the same time 
whole villages are dying of hunger in India ! Yet it would be easy 
to transport this excess of wheat over there." 

" Yes ; but the inertia and the fatalism of the populations stand in 
the way. They would sooner die of hunger than seek their, food 
abroad." 

" You must also take into account the indifference and the severity 
of the European govenmients. When they pose as the guardians and 
protectors of populations which are subjected, professedly in their own 
interest, they take charge of souls and should fulfil all the duties of a 
good father of a family to his helpless children." 

At Fao the expedition left the Electricity to proceed by caravan to 
the southwest extremity of the Persian Gulf 

As they left the Shat-el-Arab all trace of vegetation gradually dis- 
api^eared and they found themselves once more in the midst of the 
barren and desolate desert. 

At last they perceived in the distance the great Indian Ocean, whose 
blue waves were dying away on the golden sands. 

The camp, which was to stand for five or six days only, was fixed 
at a little distance from the shore. 

Opposite, and separated from the main land by a narrow arm of the 
sea, lay a small, sandy island, the island of Wamba, and, farther off, 
out at sea, another island, larger than the first, that of Bubian. It 
was on these two islets that Jack Adams had thought he would be 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 199 

able to place the apparatus destined to convert the waves, the tides and 
the winds into electricity. 

. . . The day has been warm and the journey fatiguing. The even- 
ing is splendid. The sky is studded with thousands of stars, among 
which several constellations, unknown to the skies of the north, shine 
with an intense brightness. 

The fires of the bivouac have been lit. The waves reflect the flame 
in long, red columns, which seem to repeat themselves endlessly. The 
chardavars, stretched out on the sand in a state of complete immo- 
bility, are sleeping, entirely enveloped in their white burnous. Only 
Badger and his companions are still talking of the object which has 
brought them so far from their country. 

These men, who appear so small and so mean in the presence of the 
boundless space which surrounds them on all sides, these men possess 
the lever which moves the world — they have faith. They believe in 
the almost illimitable power of science. They have confidence in the 
word which has promised to man the empire of the world : " Re- 
plenish the earth and you shall subdue it." That is to say, make use 
of the very forces of nature itself for subduing it and compelling it 
to execute the orders of intelligsnce and thought. A day would come 
when the wind, which now uselessly raised the sands of the desert, 
would serve to illuminate the reconstructed cities ; when the waves 
which were dying away at the feet of Badger and of Jack Adams 
would serve to move the railways w^iich would place the Mediterranean 
and the Indies in communication. 

Next morning the necessary preparations were made for passing 
over to the two islands. They had brought with them a small steel boat 
that could be taken apart, sufficiently large for crossing small arms of 
the sea without danger. 

In half an hour all the parts of the boat scattered on the sand were 
fitted together, and the little craft was ready to go to sea. Guided by 
Captain Laycock, who held the rudder, and propelled by two stout 
oarsmen, it had quickly crossed the strait which separates the island 
of Waraba from the coast. 

After a minute examination on the part of Jack Adams and Mona- 
ghan, they went back to the boat, which had passed around the island 
and was lying at the shore opposite to that on which they had 
landed. 



200 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 




The arm of the sea which separates the two islands was also crossed 
without difficulty, and they set foot on the soil of Biibian. 

Waraba is but an 
islet; Bubian is much 
larger and its height 
above the level of the 
sea milch more consid- 
erable. 

After having studied 
the geological formation 
and drawn the topo- 
' ■ graphical plan of the 
two islands, Monaghan 
and Jack Adams de- 
sired to fathom the 
depth of the arm of 
the sea which separates 
Waraba from the main- 
land and Bubian from 
Waraba. 

This operation fin- 
ished, they entered the 
boat again to return to 
camp. On the same 
evening, after dinner, 
Monaghan and Jack 
Adams, having written 
out their notes and veri- 
fied their calculations, 
were able to acquaint 
Lord Badger with the 
result of their investi- 
gation. 

Here, in a few words, 

are the conclusions at 

which they had arrived : 

the island of Bubian 

was larger and more elevated above the level of the sea than they had 

8ui)posed. It alone would be sufficient for setting up the apparatus. 






<Mu> 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 201 

Waraba, much smaller, would be sacrificed in part. Two dams were 
to be constructed at each of its extremities, intended to connect it on 
one side with the mainland and on the other with Bubian. 

" In this way," continued Jack Adams, " I shall obtain a lake of 
which Waraba will be the centre. That island will disappear almost 
completely beneath the waters, for I shall make use of its sands for 
constructing the dikes.'' 

" Then the sea does not suffice you any more ? " observed Miss 
Nelly. "At present, behold, you need a lake ! " 

" Certainly. I shall fill this lake at the time of high tide by open- 
ing flood-gates, and, at low tide, I shall open other sluices in order to 
precipitate the waters of the lake into the sea." 

^'I understand now; you will cause the water to fall on turbines, 
which will set dynamo-electric machines in motion." , 

" That is it, exactly. Miss Badger. Not only will the turbines turn 
when the lake becomes empty, but it will also be possible to set them 
in rotation when the lake fills up. In this way there will always be 
but little time lost during the day." 

" It seems to me," said Monaghan, " that I have heard another 
means for utilizing the tides spoken of favorably." 

*^ Yes ; but it appears to me much less practical than the first. It 
consists in making use of the rise of the waters for compressing the 
air in a receiver." 

" What is the disadvantage of this system ? " 

" It requires apparatus that are too complicated and too costly." 

"But," said Lord Badger in his turn, "do you not fear that the 
construction of your dikes will require considerable labor and will, 
consequently, be very expensive ? " 

" I do not think so. The result of our soundings has been to show 
that the depth of the water does not exceed fifteen feet in any place." 

" That is little, indeed. And where do you intend to place your 
mills?" 

" On a series of isolated knolls formed of resistant sand, which lie 
not far from the shore towards the eastern part of the island. On 
these heights nothing will obstruct the action of the wind. Besides, 
they will have the advantage of standing near to the site marked out 
for the construction of the hydraulic works." 

Pour days had sufficed for completing the studies and surveys 



202 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



which were the object of the journey. They retraced the road fol- 
lowed before and embarked again on the Electricity at Fao. 

At Bassorah they heard news from London. The Davy and the 
Faraday had finished loading and were on the point of going to sea 
again. 

All went well as far as Kurna, the point of junction of the two rivers. 
Above Kurna the navigation on the Euphrates becafhe difficult. At 
Samava they had to abandon the idea of ascending farther. They 
said adieu to Captain Laycock, who returned to Bassorah to await 
the arrival of the two transports there, and procured the necessary 
horses and mules for returning to Liberty by the land route. 

This last part of the journey was marked by an event which might 
have had tragical consequences. The road followed by the caravan ran 
along near to the banks of the river. During a halt Miss Nelly and 
Fatma had separated a little from the rest of their companions to pick 
some flowers which grew among the reeds. A profound silence reigned 
around them, and wholly engrossed in their pleasure, the unfortunate 
girls little suspected that a terrible enemy had been watching them for 
several minutes. While they were advancing joyously to the edge of 
the water to draw the stalks of the flowers towards them, laughing 
when one of these stalks slipped from their grasp, an enormous croco- 
dile, which slept extended on the sand, had waked up and was at- 
tentively following all their movements. Suddenly it rushed forward 
in their direction, opening its wide jaws, ready to devour them. 

At the noise which the broad feet of the monster made in passing 
over the sand, the young girls turned around and uttered cries of ter- 
ror. They tried to flee. Their road was closed on all sides. On the 
right and left, an inextricable mass of reeds ; in the middle of the 
road left open, the crocodile, which was slowly advancing. 

As if assured that its prey could not escape it, it stood still for a 
few seconds. This short interval sufficed for Fatma to come to a su- 
preme resolution. Feeling that she was lost, she and her mistress, the 
poor girl determined to save her companion at the risk of her own 
life. 

Advancing in front of the crocodile, which was watching her with 
its green eyes : 

" Good-bye, dear Kelly," said she ; " save yourself" 
Comprehending Fatma's admirable self-sacrifice, Miss Nelly sprang 
for>vard in her turn to hold back her friend. It was too late. The 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 203 

crocodile had already seized the border of the dress of the unfortunate 
girl, who, thrown down by the shock, had rolled over on tlie grass. 
Suddenly, at the moment when the monster rushed forward a second 
time to seize her in the middle of the body, a gunshot rang out and 
the crocodile sank heavily to the ground. Three seconds lat^r Mona- 
ghan, his still smoking gun in his hand, raised up the imconscious 
Fatma, while Miss Nelly, who had come up beside her, tried to bring 
her to. As the crocodile still gave some signs of life, Monaghan dis- 
charged a second shot point blank at it, shattering its head. 

When Badger and Jack Adams, attracted by the sound of the two 
shots which the geologist had fired off, and by Miss Nelly's cries of 
distress, came up, tliey found Fatma recovered from her swoon and 
sobbing, a prey to a nervous fit, a very natural result of the terrible 
shock which she had received. 

^^ What has happened ? '' asked Lord Badger, anxiously. 

Monaghan told liim how that, while hunting wild ducks near by, 
he had heard the cries of the two young girls and had hurried to their 
assistance. It was high time, for he had found Fatma thrown down 
and the crocodile preparing to devour her. 

As to Miss Nelly, she had fallen on her father's neck, trembling all 
over. As soon as her agitation permitted her to speak, she told him 
how Fatma had wished to sacrifice herself to save her. 

" Dear, dear Fatma ! " exclaimed Badger, with tears in his eyes, 
clasping the young girl in his arms; "brave and generous soul ! From 
this day on I have another daughter. Were it not for your admirable 
sacrifice it would be all over with my Nelly. And you, my dear 
Monaghan,'' added he, after a moment, grasping the geologist's hand, 
" you have done your duty nobly. Count on me at all times." 

" My lord," the latter replied, simply, '' what I have done every 
one else would have done in my place. Besides, I am amply rewarded 
by the very service itself that I have been able to render our two 
companions." 

They slowly retraced the way to the encampment. Fatma, sup- 
ported on one side by Lord Badger's arm, on the other by Miss Nelly's, 
gradually recovered. She told them that from the moment when she 
advanced towards the monster she no longer knew what happened. 
Stunned by the shock, she had immediately lost consciousness and had 
not even heard the two shots fired by iVIonaghan. 



204 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



" I thought," said Badger to the latter, " that there were no croco- 
diles in Mesopotamia, no more in the Euphrates than in the Tigris." 

" The opinions are divided on this subject," replied the geologist. 
" Some naturalists assert that they are met with, others deny it abso- 
lutely. At any rate, it is certain that these animals are extremely rare. 
But we have to-day obtained the proof that there are still some in ex- 
istence and that this malevolent species is not wholly destroyed." 

On their return to camp Badger proposed that they should defer 
their departure until the day after, and rest during the remainder of 
the day and the following night, so as to give Fatma time to recover 
completely. But Monaghan was of the opinion that the diversion and 
the fatigue of the journey could only be favorable for the convalescent 
by effecting a happy diversion on her nerves. 

The journey to Babylon was, therefore, resumed in the evening, and 
a few days later the caravan had the pleasure of being once more in 




Liberty. No, traveling in summer was decidedly not agreeable. It 
was decided that they should quietly await the return of the cooler 
days of autumn before undei-taking new expeditions. The life which 
they led at Liberty then resumed, outwardly, its accustomed course; 
nothing was changed, apparently. Yet, any one who might liave 
possessed the gift of reading hearts could have prognosticated, without 
fear of being mistaken, that it was all over with the delightful and 
pea<«ful intimacy of former times. Already it became easy to foresee 
that many storms were on the point of breaking forth, the consequences 



I 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 205 

of which would compromise not only the happiness of those concerned, 
but the very prospects of the work itself 

The success of this work had been due in a great measure to the 
perfect harmony which, until then, liad not ceased to exist between all 
the members of the association. Under the inevitable pressure of 
human passions this harmony was on the point of disappearing. 




THE ELECTRIC LIGHTHOUSE. 

"Absence," a French moralist "has 
I said, "fosters the great passions and snp- 
I presses the lesser ones, even as the wind 
lextingnishes candles and kindles the fire/' 
During the few weeks that Miss Nelly and Cornill^ had just passed 
at a distance from each other, they had had ample leisure to examine 
their hearts carefully, and to ascertain whether the sentiment which 
they felt for each other was simply a deception of the heart, a fancy 
of the imagination, born of the circumstances which had brought them 
together during many months, or whether it had the positive and earnest 
character of an affection capable of orienting a whole lifetime. 

The result of this inward inquiry was the same for both of those 
concerned. Cornill^ decided that he would never love another woman 
than Miss Nelly; she, for her part, after having well examined her- 
self, felt entirely ready to sacrifice prejudices of rank and fortune for 
the man whose name, she rightly thought, she would one day be not 
only happy, but proud to bear. 

Women possess a great advantage over men ; they are rarely mis- 
taken as to the sentiments which they inspire. Miss Nelly was thus 
in advance of Coruille inasmuch as she was absolutely certain of the 
(206) 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 207 

young Frenchman's love, while he was still asking himself whether 
he w^as really the preferred one. 

Since the scene in the hall of the electric motors, no particular inci- 
dent had occurred between the two young people. Miss Nelly seemed 
even to avoid being alone Avith Cornille, and to seek Jack Adams' 
society in preference. It was he to whom she now applied when she 
had some information or an explanation to ask for. It was his com- 
pany which she demanded when a visit to the Kasr or to Ba])el was 
in question. 

Cornille, a novice as yet in the study of the human heart, was hurt 
by this conduct. " Is she not free," said he to himself, " to choose 
whom she will ; why this manoeuvre of seeming to hold equal balance 
between two men who are friends to-day, as if she wished to make 
rivals of them to-morrow?" And he was almost disposed to accuse 
Miss Nelly of coquetry. 

In this he was completely mistaken. The young Englishwoman 
was too proud," she had too just a consciousness of her worth to take 
such an attitude. In trying to react against the sentiment which drew 
her towards Cornille, and which she felt to be governing her greatly, 
she was, on the contrary, obeying the most noble feelings. 

By the very reason of her more refined nature and the perhaps 
higher conception of duty which she has formed, the consequences of 
a bad choice are still much more to be dreaded for woman than for 
man. Every young girl feels this truth instinctively, even before her 
reason is sufficiently developed to enable her to account for it. Hence, 
when a choice is to be made, there is a hesitation which hardly ever 
exists with the young man, and which has often the appearance of 
caprice and coquetry. 

Our friend Cornill6 had allowed himself to be deceived by this ap- 
pearance like any ordinary mortal. It was not long before he was 
undeceived. 

A few days before their departure for the Persian Gulf, Jack 
Adams, Miss Nelly and Fatma were walking one afternoon towards 
the Kasr, when, at a turn of the road, they met Cornille, who, for his 
part, was going to the works at Babel. Cornille greeted them politely; 
but his face immediately took on so sad an expression that Miss Nelly 
experienced a feeling almost of remorse. She asked the young man to 
accompany them to the top of the tow er. Cornille hesitated an instant. 
The eyes of the young girl were fixed upon him at this moment. They 



208 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

expressed so sincere an astonishment and so eloquent a reproach, that 
it would have shown bad grace indeed to be sulky notwithstanding. 
The four together, therefore, continued the way to the Kasr. 

" Poor Cornill^," said Fatma to her mistress, at a moment when 
they had allowed themselves to be distanced by the engineers, " there 
were teal's in his eyes when he saw you pass with Mr. Jack Adams." 

" He is wrong,'^ replied Miss Nelly, simply, " fof he loves me, and 
I love him, too." 

The visit to the Kasr passed off most smoothly ; they talked ma- 
chines, electricity; they spoke of new Babylon and of its destiny. 
The conversation kept in a serious channel, without deviating towards 
any of those subjects which come almost naturally in a conversation 
between young people ; — their tastes, each one's predilections, the esti- 
mate of a book, of a piece of music — and where, each one's personality 
being necessarily implicated, it becomes easy to hint at what one does 
not wish to express plainly. Nevertheless, Cornill6 appeared to have 
completely recovered his serenity. The truth is that a really sincere 
person possesses a moral ascendency which it is impossible to escape. 
Miss Nelly's look — that look marked by an undeniable honesty — had 
been sufficient to cause Cornille, who was surprised in his injustice, to 
be pierced to the depths of his heart with regret at having even been 
able to suspect her. 

Nevertheless, from this day on until the one fixed upon for the 
departure. Miss Nelly, under the pretext of having preparations to 
make, remained almost always locked up in her room, except at meal 
hours and in the evening, when, the whole party being gathered to- 
gether, she was sure never to run the risk of finding herself alone with 
Comill6 or Jack Adams. She came but seldom into the parlor, and 
went out only when accompanied by her father. A new occurrence, 
which it is time to mention, imposed this rigorous caution upon her. 

Absorbed by another sentiment, and not very vain by nature. Lord 
Badger's charming daughter had never said to herself that Cornille 
was not the only one to live in a daily intimacy with her, and tliat, 
also young, good-looking in appearance, and likewise destined for a 
brilliant future. Jack Adams might believe he had the right — for the 
same reason as his French colleague— of loving her, and flatter him- 
self with the hope of being also loved by her. 

It Avas during the visit to the Kasr that she had, for the first time, 
a sudden intuition, as it were, of the situation. Then, recalling to 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 209 

mind many apparently trifling circumstances, to which she had at- 
tached no importance, and observing attentively Jack Adams' attitude, 
she no longer retained any doubt : Cornille was not the only one who 
loved her ; Jack Adams and he were rivals, and rivals without know- 
ing it. 

This discovery, which might perhaps have exalted an ordinary 
woman with pride, filled Miss Nelly, on the contrary, with sadness. 
She immediately comprehended the seriousness of the situation, re- 
proached herself for her innocent Machiavelism, which had perhaps 
encouraged the hopes of Jack Adams, whom she esteemed, although 
she had little sympathy for him. In an instant her resolution was 
taken. For several weeks she was going to be separated from Cor- 
nille and in constant relation with Jack Adams. The latter must 
understand from her attitude that he was forbidden to hope. 

As to the former, she must examine herself seriously on his account, 
and, if she felt herself resolved to sacrifice all to be his wife, not hesi- 
tate to pledge him her faith. In the opposite case she must, even at 
the risk of being misjudged, confess to him honestly that she had been 
mistaken as to the nature of the sentiment which she felt for him, and 
bid him renounce all hope of ever obtaining her hand. 

It was with this intention that she had left. Her handshake with 
Cornille at parting expressed an affection at the same time so grave 
and so moving, that the young man understood that his fate was to be 
decided forever. There was such a harmony between these two beings, 
an esteem so complete and absolute, that Cornille did not doubt that, 
whatever his beloved one's decision would be, it would be worthy of 
her and of him. He felt within him the power to await the decree 
which was to decide his fate, if not without anxiety, at least with a 
calm and manly resignation. 

This digression, absolutely indispensable in order that the sequence 
of events may be understood, has caused us to turn back for several 
weeks. Let us now return to the point at which we discontinued our 
story, that is to say, at the return of the caravan to Liberty. 

"How is your thermo-solar pile getting on?" asked Miss Nelly 
smilingly of Cornille, when she found herself alone with him for a 
moment after lunch next day. 

" Very well. My expectations are being realized ; it will be com- 
pleted in the month of November, and in the spring it will be possi- 
ble to set it in operation," 
14 



210 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



" Good ! Until then you must not think of anything else. Your 
first duty is towards your work ; as long as it is not completed, no 
diversion is permitted/' 

"You depend greatly upon my courage, mademoiselle f^^ 







./ ;di i>i^ , V" 



*' I count very much on my own. So, is it agreed ?" 
" Your wishes are orders." 
"Thank you." 

^ She held out her hand to him, and he kept it for an instant between 
his own. 

" Miss Nelly ! dear Miss Nelly T' 

"Hush," said she, disengaging herself, while happy CornilM, stand- 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 211 

iiig motionless in the same place, seemed like a man who was suddenly 
to see the sky open over his head. 

In thus postponing the time at which she should authorize Cornill^ 
to declare himself officially, Miss Nelly had had no intention of im- 
posing a time of probation upon him, which she deemed useless, for 
she was quite sure of the engineer's love. She dreaded tlie conse- 
quences of an avowed rivalry between him and Jack Adams, and 
hoped, by gaining time, to see all traces of this rivalry disappear. 
Already Jack Adams seemed to have understood the significance of 
her more marked reserve towards himself: in a few months, thought 
she, he will be completely cured of a passion without a possible issue, 
and will resign himself philosophically to his friend's happiness. 

Miss Nelly had decided that Jack Adams' ruling passion was pride, 
and she believed him to be but little accessible to sentiment. In this 
she was not mistaken ; but what she was not aware of, was the ex- 
tremes to which wounded pride can drive a violent nature and a 
vindictive mind. 

At present, everything was quiet as yet. The labors were pushed 
on without intermission at the works of the Kasr and of Babel. Jack 
Adams and Cornille united their efforts so that everything shoukl be 
finished at the commencement of the rainy season. Work was not 
wanting. 

The Davy and the Faraday had arrived at Bassorah in the first 
days of July. There was no possibility of transporting the new ma- 
terial to Babylon by way of the river. They had thus found them- 
selves under the necessity of having all of it carried on camels' backs. 
A slow, expensive, and inconvenient way; but there was no other 
course to take. 

The hydraulic works of the upper Tigris were kept in regular 
electric communication with Liberty. In the middle of the month 
of August all were finally completed. The underground wires con- 
nected them with the central works of the Kasr. They were only 
awaiting the first rains of autumn and the rising of the Tigris in order 
to send torrents of electricity to Babylon and charge the accumulators 
to repletion. 

During the months of August and September the weather remained 
dry; but, from the first days in October, the telegraph reported abun- 
dant rains in the valley of the upper Tigris, and on the 17th the man- 



212 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

ager of the works at Jezireh telegraphed to Lord Badger that the 
waters of the Tigris were high and the machines ready to work. 

At noon precisely the electric fluid arrived like an impetuous flood 
at the extremity of the wires. From the wires it was caused to pass 
into the accumulators, which were to be charged successively. 

Badger and his companions, collected together in the hall of the 
accumulators, are anxiously following the movements of the appa- 
ratus. The engineers, the builders, and the foremen are there to 
watch the progress of the final experiment. Everything goes on as 
Avell as could be desired. The first accumulator only has been placed 
in communication with the wires. At the end of eight minutes the 
bubbling is heard which is produced by the tumultuous- escaping of 
oxygen and hydrogen, announcing that the accumulator is completely 
charged. 

Jack Adams takes his note-book and his pencil and puts down 
some figures. When his calculations are finished : 

" Gentlemen," says he, ^' in twenty-four hours we shall have charged 
two hundred elements ; that is to say, the wherewithal to begin the 
electric lighting of Liberty. To-morrow evening Babylon will be lit 
up by the force drawn from the sources of the Tigris." 

The engineer then placed the wires in communication with the first 
series of the accumulators. All those present watched him work with 
curiosity. The hands of the works, less familiar than their superiors 
with the theories of science and with mathematical abstractions, loudly 
expressed their astonishment at sight of these long copper wires, covered 
with silk and gutta-percha, proceeding in all directions in an apparent 
disorder. That w^hich seemed most extraordinary was to persuade 
oneself that these wires were really traversed by streams of electricity. 

" It is certain," said Badger, " that all this strangely confuses the 
imagination. The mind refuses to believe in such wonders." 

" I confess it is amazing," replied Jack Adams. " More than once 
I too have stopped, pensive, before the iron wires of a telegraph. Eh ! 
what, I said to myself, is it possible that at this moment words, sen- 
tences are circulating in this wire? I am in London, and there, 
through this base metal, through this inert matter, there comes from 
Calcutta the announcement of a brilliant inheritance, of a birth, of a 
death. All is silent around me, and yet here is passing the message 
which traverses continents and seas with the rapidity of lightning." 

"When a vessel," added CornilM, "passes through the Mediterra- 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



215^ 



to the shores of Asia Minor, as our Eleetrieity 



nean from Gibraltar 
has done, the passen- 
gers sail more than 
once over cables 
which bind the con- 
tinents together, 
without thinking 
that human thought 
is passing at a few 
yards below their 
feet. Yes, my dear 
friend, you are right, 
there is something 
here to astonish 
even those who are 
the authors of these 
wonders." 

'^As for me," said 
JM i s s Nelly, " it 
seems to me that I 
am the plaything of 
a dream. I cannot 
imagine that this 
inert wire, offering 
absolutely nothing 
extraordinary either 
to the sight or to the 
touch, should be at 
this moment the seat 
of a current of force 
which started over 
six hundred miles 
from here a thou- 
sandth of a second 
ago. I cannot be- 
lieve that this force 
is accumulated in these equally inert bits of lead." 

'^And yet, miss, to-morrow evening you will certainly be obliged to 
believe it, when the place here will be lit up as in broad daylight." 




214 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

In support of his words, Jack Adams showed, in all its details, the 
electric lamp destined to throw a bright light over all the region. 

" Your lamp,'' observed Cornill^, " is truly of gigantic proportions. 
I have never seen the like of it." 

" This is tnie. It was necessary to have in our possession a lumin- 
ous source of considerable intensity. Electricity shall not fail us, and 
it is a question of illuminating a very large area." • 

" AVhat is the power of this lamp ? " 

" I estimate it at thirty thousand Carcel lamps at the least. This 
intensity of light corresponds to one hundred and fifty horse power, 
expended at this moment in any one of the works of the upper Tigris. 
That is about one-fifth of the total force over which we can dispose up 
there. You see thus, my dear Cornill^, that this lighthouse, notwith- 
standing all its power, will consume for itself but the fifth part of the 
electricity which the hydraulic works send to Babylon." 

During all the afternoon of the following day Liberty was invaded 
by a numerous crowd, arriving from all directions. The report of the 
evening's experiment had spread quickly since the day before to Hillah 
and to the neighboring villages. Notwithstanding their supercilious 
affectation of indifference towards all that comes from the westj the 
natives had not been able to resist the temptation of seeing a new sun 
lit by the power of man. 

The streets of Liberty offered a most picturesque spectacle. Groups 
of Arabs, squatting on the ground in oriental fashion, took their frugal 
repast in the shadow of the houses, and patiently awaited the night. 
Sheiks arrived, magnificently draped in their white burnous, their fine 
weapons sparkling in the sun, and mounted on mettlesome and richly 
caparisoned horses. Curious people of lower degree had united to 
travel by caravan. The tents raised around the city, the camels and 
the asses tied to stakes fixed in the ground, gave Liberty the appear- 
ance of a sort of intrenched camp. Yet, in this varied multitude, 
there was nothing of the din and tumult, the deafening uproar of the 
Euroj^ean crowds. This gathering, composed only of men, and where 
neither the silvery voices of women nor the joyous cries of children 
were heard, remained impassive and calm, at least in appearance, not- 
withstanding its feverish expectation. 

Badger received the visits of several sheiks and caids of the oases, 
some of whom, already known to him, introduced their friends and 
relatives, who were desirous in their turn to see the "great Christian 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 215 

chief. '^ He talked long with them, and spoke to them of the experi- 
ments which he was going to try. On returning among the crowd, 
these sheiks in turn related all that the English lord had just told 
them. Curiosity was thus excited only the more, and the end of the 
day w^as awaited with great impatience. 

At seven o^clock the last accumulator was charged. They had to 
telegraph to the upper Tigris to have the movement of the turbines 
. stopped. The current being interrupted, it was unnecessary to let the 
apparatus act to no purpose. Next morning the turbines were to be 
set in motion again, and the accumulators charged anew for the illumi- 
nation of the lighthouse. 

At last the sun set. Badger and all his companions proceeded to- 
wards the plain which extended at the foot of the Kasr, so as to be 
Avell opposite to the projection of the luminous rays. He was followed 
by the hands of the works and by the crowd of natives. Not a cry 
was uttered. An almost religious silence reigned. All, civilized and 
native, collected amid these deserts, felt themselves under the influence 
of the strange, of the inexplicable. For the first time the electric light 
was to flash out in these solitudes and illumine the ruins of the most 
famous of ancient cities. 

Twilight does not last long in these low latitudes ; yet they desired 
to wait until it had been entirely night for some time, so that the sud- 
den transition from darkness to light should be more striking. 

Time passed slowly; the stars, becoming brighter and brighter, 
sparkled by myriads in the firmament, where the milky way extended 
like a broad phosphorescent belt. 

"What a beautiful night !" murmured Miss Nelly into her father's 
ear. 

" Yes, dear child, heaven favors our attempts. It loves the bold 
ones who strive to wrest its secrets from it for the good of humanity." 

" Is it not strange that science is at times accused of impiety ?'' 

" Very strange, indeed,'' said Badger, with a certain solemnity, " for 
science is God himself" 

At this moment nine o'clock was heard to strike from the church of 
Liberty. Badger, rising immediately, set fire to a rocket planted in 
the ground before him. The rocket described a curve in the air, and, 
at the same instant, the lighthouse of Liberty was lit up by an im- 
mense jet of light. 

Surprised and almost blinded, the Arabs remained for a moment 



2ie BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

speechless and startled. Then, all at once, the air resounded with 
their cries. Fond, above all, of the marvelous, this spectacle enrap- 
tured them to deliriousness, and their enthusiasm no longer knew any 
bounds. Allah ! Allah ! Allah ! they repeated, prostrating themselves, 
and raising their arms toward heaven. Then there was a hubbub of 
confused voices, of varied exclamations. One thing that seemed to 
astonish them greatly was to see the excessively leil^thened and in- 
tensely black shadows which their bodies projected behind them. Like 
great children, they amused themselves by making the most grotesque 
contortions in order to laugh at the images which they thus obtained 
on tlie sand. 

Suddenly the light was extinguished. Darkness set in, black, thick, 
all the more intense as the transition had been more rapid. By an 
effect of contrast due to the strain on the retina under the too bright 
impression of the electric light, the sky, just before diaphanous, now 
appeared black as ink. The cries ceased instantly. At the end of 
three seconds the lighthouse was lit again definitely. 

"Why this interruption?'^ Miss Nelly asked her father. 

" That was in the programme. Jack Adams wanted to surprise the 
curious." 

" Then he has well succeeded," said the young girl, laughing. 

It was midnight when the lighthouse ceased to shine. Those 
present had been informed as to the hour at which the light would be 
extinguished, so that each one could reach his tent or his inn as easily 
as in broad daylight. 





CHAPTER YI. 



THE LIGHTING OF LIBERTY. 



The next day was still more fruitful in wonders than the preceding 
one. The lighthouse, notwithstanding all its power, was mere child^s 
play for engineers such as Jack Adams and Cornill^. The question 
now was to light up the streets and the houses of Liberty. It was 
also necessary to light up the two works of the Kasr and of Babel, so 
that the work might be continued during the night. 

Two diiferent systems were to be employed for this purpose : the 
voltaic arc, obtained by Jablochkoif lamps, was to serve for lighting 
the streets and the halls of the Kasr and of Babel ; as to the houses, 
it was expedient to make use of the incandescent light, softer and 
easier to handle than the voltaic arc. 

During the whole day the workmen were in motion. The lamps 
had to be put in their places, the connection of the wires made sure of; 
in a word, it was necessary that nothing should be overlooked, so as to 
be certain of success. 

Towards three o'clock the excitement began to be very great again 

in the streets of Liberty. The crowd of curious ones had grown still 

lar2;er since the day before. 

(217) 



218 BABYLON ELECTKIFIED. 

The rest of the afternoon passed in the greatest quiet. At the sup- 
per hour this crowd dispersed to take some nourishment, whether under 
the tents, or in the inns of the city, or simply in the open air, on the 
sand or the grass of the meadows. Liberty was abundantly provided 
with victuals of every kind. Badger had given orders that food 
should be distributed gratuitously to every one. The oriental people 
are remarkably moderate. A handful of farina, a little water, a few 
dates or dried figs, that is what, for an Arab, constitutes an excellent 
repast. The liberality of his lordship did not need, therefore, to in- 
volve him very deeply. 

As on the day before, they waited until the darkness was complete 
before giving the signal for the illumination. 

This time the effect was still more striking. As quick as lightning 
all the streets, all the houses, all the shops, were lit uj) wonderfully. 
Electric lamps were distributed everywhere in profusion. 

The enthusiasm had been great on the night before ; this evening it 
was indescribable. It was delirium — it was folly. The natives went 
through all the shops, into all the houses, and found new causes for 
amazement everywhere. The coffee-houses, sparkling in the light of 
innumerable lamps, especially excited their admiration. 

Meanwhile the cry : " Fire ! fire V rang out at one extremity of the 
city. 

The crowd immediately rushed towards the fire. When it arrived, 
all danger was already over. It was only a board that had taken fire, 
and a large pail of water, thrown over it, had been sufficient to extin- 
guish it. 

Jack Adams, who was walking w^ith Cahuzac in the neighborhood 
of the house where the fire had broken out, at the moment when the 
first flames were perceived, had immediately divined the cause of the 
fire, while Cahuzac extinguished the burning board. The two imme- 
diately came back to the place where their friends were, to reassure 
them as to the consequences of the accident. 

" How did it happen ?" Badger asked Jack Adams, 

" That is very simple. We are lit up at this moment by more than 
six thousand lamps. The conductors, of a large diameter on leaving 
the works, grow gradually thinner, until they are turned into simple 
wires at the moment when they enter the houses. These conductors 
are of copper, and enclosed in tubes of iron from which they are sepa- 
rated by hemp and jietroleum. Now, the heat developed in the copper 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 219 

wires being so much the greater as they are thinner, it happened that 
the current was intense enough to bring one of the wires to red heat 
and set fire to the board against which it was fastened. I had but to 
cut this wire in order to destroy the source of the evil. Our friend 
Cahuzac has done the rest by throwing water on tlie board." 

" But is there no means of preventing this accident, which can be- 
come very serious in a large number of cases, and menace a whole city 
with conflagration ? " 

" Why yes, and this means is employed everywhere in Liberty. At 
the point where the wires enter a house, a wire of fusible metal is in- 
tercalated, which is intended to melt and to interrupt the current in 
the possible case that this current should become strong enough to 
damage the lamps or bring the inner wires to red heat." 

" But now ? " ... remarked Cahuzac. 

" In this case," continued Jack Adams, " it is probable that they 
forgot to put in this fusible wire. I shall go to assure myself of it to- 
morrow morning. With regard to this, observe the great superiority 
of electricity over gas as a means of public lighting. What precau- 
tions must be taken for gas when it is desired to interrupt the com- 
munication with the street-pipe ! If this pipe is cut off, it must be 
hermetically closed in order to prevent the escape of gas. What dan- 
gers there are then to fear ! With electricity there is nothing of this. 
The wire is cut, and that is all ; the electricity cannot escape from the 
cut." 

Recovered from the short panic caused by the threatened conflagra- 
tion, the crowd had begun to move about again, less rough, however, 
more calmly and quietly, for one becomes surfeited of everything, even 
of the marvels and miracles of science. Besides, a new surprise was 
expected, and everybody proceeded towards the Kasr, which— at eleven 
o'clock precisely — was in its turn to be lit up. The crowds massed 
themselves on the immense meadows which separate the town from the 
works. 

Eleven o'clock struck ; instantaneously, as if by the stroke of a 
magic wand, the last vestige of that which once was great Babylon 
was one blaze from base to summit. 

It was a gigantic pyramid of light, a formidable accumulation of 
electric lamps. All the details of the works appeared as if in broad 
daylight. At the top of the tower the lighthouse threw out its light 



220 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



far and wide over the plain. This time the spectacle truly approached 

the sublime. 

"It has caused tears to come into my eyes/' said good Mona- 

ghan naively to Badger. 

The gates were opened and the 
public was permitted to move 
about in all p^ts of the Kasr. 
The crowd was seen to go up 
the spiral road and overrun the 
highest stories of the works. Ten 
minutes later there could be seen 
moving about on the platform 
above, and under the brilliant 
light of the lighthouse, thou- 
sands of heads surmounted by 
white haiks wound around with 
cords of camel's hair. 

On that evening the steam and 
petroleum engines were also put 
into requisition. The accumula- 
tors, charged by means of the 
works on the Tigris, furnished 
the light of the lighthouse and 
of Liberty ; the dynamo-engines, 
worked by coal and petroleum, 
served to light up the buildings 
of the Kasr. 

Jack Adams turned the power- 
ful rays of the lighthouse on to 
the ruins with which the plain 
of Babylon is studded. Some of 
these ruins presented a strange 
and truly fantastic appearance : 
under the intense brilliancy of 
the electric light, which effaces the 
penumbra, the tells resembled 
raging weaves on a stormy sea. 

At the foot of one of these hillocks, situated at about a mile from 

Liberty, a man was perceived, armed with a pick-axe, Avho was fever- 




BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



221 



ishly digging the ground. He was lit up in his work by a lantern 
suspended from the end of a stick. It was easy to recognize Grimm, 
who, since the electric experiments had begun, was more than ever 
bent on his excavations. He raised his head for a moment, loolved in 
the direction of the lighthouse, and set to work at digging again. 

After the ruins the turn came for the banks of the Euphrates. The 
city of Hillah and its oasis of palm-trees were caused to sparkle in the 
jets of light and to cast their reflections into the waters of the river. 

A curious sight was then seen : the terraces of all the houses were 
occupied by the feminine population of the city, attracted by the 




beauty of the spectacle. Believing themselves 
to be quite safe from indiscreet eyes, the young 
as well as the old showed themselves without 
veils and in the rich variety of their beautiful 
indoor costumes. The Europeans were thus 
enabled to see several pretty faces which, were 
it not for this fortunate circumstance, would have remained en- 
tirely unknown to them. Was the incident to the taste of all the 
husbands present at Liberty? That is a thing that it would be rash 
to assert ; but we may at least be certain that, according to the custom 
in all countries of the world, there was not a single Avoman who, on 



222 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

the return of her lord and master, would not be able to persuade him 
that slie had acted for the best. 

Besides, the poor recluses seemed to take so great a delight in the 
enchanting picture which they had before their eyes, that one must 
have been more than pitiless to reproach them for it. The gestures, 
the attitudes, the signs and beckonings which were made from one 
terrace to the other were so expressive that one could *guess at the ex- 
clamations and the words by which they must have been accompanied, 
and that one fancied one could almost hear the bursts of laughter is- 
suing from all the half open mouths. 

A certain number of women belonging to the working or poor class, 
and whose dignity did not confine them within the walls of their 
dwellings, had even ventured, but closely veiled, these, on the road 
from Hillah to Liberty. The children, who in the East seldom leave 
their mothers, accompanied them. This evening's gathering thus had 
an animation and a picturesqueness which the most brilliant festivals 
rarely have in the Mussulman countries, where the absence of the 
feminine and infantile element brings a tone of gravity even into joy 
and pleasure. 

The feast did not end until very late at night. It was only towards 
two o'clock in the morning that the visitors, intoxicated with light and 
astonishment, retired to their tents and to the inns. 

Next morning Liberty had resumed its usual appearance. At day- 
hveak the Arabs had all reached their homes again. 

The experiments had succeeded perfectly on the whole. Excepting 
a few unimportant accidents, like that of the fire that broke out, 
everything had gone on as well as could have been desired. 

There had, indeed, been here and there some momentary extinc- 
tions, some defectiveness in the conductibility of the wires ; an accu- 
mulator had been damaged. But these are things which are inevitable 
in all works, and above all at the beginning of so considerable an ex- 
periment. 

" We shall remedy the few defective points," said Jack Adams to 
Badger. " Now that we are rid of the crowd, we shall be more at 
ease to continue our trials." 

*' If the crowd inconveniences you, "replied Badger, " it will be easy 
to keep it at a distance." 

"You think, then, that there will always be an affluence of 
visitors ? " 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 22S 

" I am convinced that a still greater number of curious people will 
come here than during the last two days. These oriental populations 
are slow to come out ; but when once you have succeeded in setting 
them in motion there is a veritable invasion." 

On that very day they had proof that his lordship's conjectures were 
correct. Captain Laycock and Monaghan were walking about on the 
upper terraces of the Kasr, when they perceived in the distance, on the 
road to Bagdad, a large caravan which was advancing rapidly towards 
Liberty. 

They hastened to inform Badger, who mounted with them to the 
summit of the tower, and all three turned their glasses in the direction 
indicated. 

The party was still too far oif to distinguish anything, unless it be 
that it consisted of at least five to six hundred persons and was com- 
posed for the greater part of Arabs, who formed a multitude of white 
points, against which a few^ black spots stood out. 

These black dots indicated that there were several Europeans with 
the Arabs. Badger and his companions now awaited with impatience 
the arrival of the troop. Perhaps it brought information from Lon- 
don ; perhaps, who could tell ? even friends. 

The caravan did not make its entry into Liberty until three hours 
later. Badger and Captain Laycock went to meet it. They had not been 
mistaken : at the head of the troop there rode some fifteen Europeans, 
five or six of whom were acquaintances ; the English consul at Bag- 
dad ; the French consul ; Sir Edward Barthing, one of Badger's 
warmest friends ; Captain James Colson, an old acquaintance of Lay- 
cock ; two journalists, one of them a correspondent of the Times. 

Sir Edward Barthing and Badger, Captain Colson and Laycock fell 
into each other's arms in ecstasy. The English consul introduced to 
his lordship his colleague, the French consul, and some ten of the 
principal inhabitants and the native authorities of Bagdad. The lat- 
ter, mounted on superb horses, had put on their finest costumes for the 
occasion. His lordship bid his new guests welcome and conducted 
them to his dwelling. As to the throng that followed the Europeans 
and the Arab chiefs, it was soon dispersed in the coifee-houses of the 
city and in the environs. 

"And now explain to me how this caravan was formed?" asked 
Lord Badger, when they were all collected in the parlor before a lunch 
which, though an improvised one, was none the less sumptuous. " How 



224 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



have you been able to know so quickly that we had begun our experi- 
ments ? Yet I had expressly forbidden them to telegraph the news to 
Bagdad in order to avoid obstruction.'' 

*^ It was your experiments themselves that informed the inhabitants 
of Bagdad," replied Earthing. " The day before yesterday, at six 
o'clock in the evening, the news suddenly spread that a strange phe- 
nomenon was showing itself at the horizon towatds the southwest. 
The population repaired in a body towards a knoll which rises at the 
highest point of the city and from where you command the view of 
the desert. I hastened there also, and saw a bright light sparkling 
above the horizon, throwing, as it were, jets of gold on the sand. I 
immediately saw that it was an electric lighthouse, and the consul, 
who was with me, declared that you had begun your experiments. 
Then, without losing time, we informed a few friends and acquaint- 
ances, and, mounting on horseback, we took the road to Babylon. ^Ve 




were followed by a large crowd, eager to see, which has accompanied 
us to this place." 

The conversation continued with animation. Badger and his 
daughter were happy to have late news from London, which Sir Ed- 
ward Barthing had left a short time since. The papers and reviews 
arrived regularly at Liberty, and a voluminous correspondence was 
received there, but in regard to those thousand nothings which alone 
can render well the character of the absent native land, Barthing, who 
was well known in society, could furnish details, piquant through their 
newness. 

The experiments of the day before were repeated during the night 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 225 

After having visited the city, the halls, the thousand wonders of the 
Kasr, Badger caused the Europeans and the native chiefs to mount to 
the top of the light-house tower to witness the experiments in 
lighting. 

Liberty was lit up to its darkest corners. The Kasr sparkled in 
innumerable lights, and at one o'clock in the morning they descended 
again to Liberty, every one absolutely enraptured by the beauty of the 
spectacle which he had had before his eyes. 
15 




CHAPTER YII. 



THE GEEAT WORKS. 



On the 17th of November all the experiments in electric lighting 
were terminated. The works of the upper Tigris operated with the 
greatest regularity. Our people were in possession of an immense 
quantity of electricity, renewed each day. 

It was, therefore, time to begin the great works projected. This 
Badger was in the act of demonstrating to his collaborators, collected 
around him in the common dining-room, after the fatigues of a well- 
employed day. 

" Until now everything has favored our enterprise," said he. " The 
death of poor Flatnose is the only misfortune that we have had to de- 
plore. The results obtained have been satisfying ; the Arab, Kurdish 
and Turkish populations do not show themselves hostile to our experi- 
ments. Their curiosity, strongly excited, holds their judgment, in a 
measure, in suspense. If they will show themselves hostile, it will 
not be until later on ; let us take advantage of the moment when all 
is quiet and when nothing seems as yet to menace us, to push on 
vigorously with our works. We do not know what the future has in 
store for us. The farther our work will be advanced, the less easy 
will it become to destroy it. 

" We possess a source of electricity such that no one before us has 
had a like quantity. The admirable invention of a Frenchman, Mr. 
(226) 



\ 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 227 

Marcel Desprez, enables us to transmit the electric fluid to great dis- 
tances and to make it serve for setting machines in motion. What we 
have already done and what we shall yet do at Babylon will be but 
the starting-point of a succession of enterprises destined, thanks to 
the invention of your compatriot, and to your own, my dear Cornille, 
to transform completely the surface of the planet. What steam had 
already begun towards bringing the nations together and for the fusion 
of the races, will soon be finished by electricity. 

" Let us hasten, therefore, to leave the beaten tracks and to engage 
in new experiments. With the electricity come from the turbines of 
our works on the upper Tigris let us set in motion the dynamo-electric 
engines which will serve us for digging canals and for draining a 
large part of the sea of Nedjef.'^ 

" Thus,'^ observed Miss Xelly, " it is the falls of the Tigris which 
come to work at digging the canals and at draining the sea of Nedjef." 

" It's wonderful ! " cried Cahuzac, enthusiastically. 

" Xo,'' said Jack Adams ; " it is only natural. For science there is 
nothing wonderful. Man is surrounded by overflowing force uselessly 
spent. The rule of progress consists in utilizing this force better and 
better. That which is wonderful for the common run of people is 
only very natural for the scientist." 

" You are evidently right, my dear Adams," said Cahuzac. " Yet 
permit me to call your attention to the fact that there is one thing that 
is wonderful, for it is not natural." 

"Which?" 

" That is the scientist himself." 

At this everybody began to laugh, and they went up to smoke cigars 
on the terrace. ... 

It was on the 10th of December that the labors were inaugurated. 
It was necessary to take advantage of winter, for during the hot season 
this work would be impossible. Badger did not wish to build his 
city in the midst of a desert. Nobody would come to live in it. Be- 
fore all, it was necessary to render the soil productive, to cover it with 
rich crops. It was necessary that, on arriving, the new colonists should 
find immense fields of wheat, laughing orchards, forests of date-palms 
and cocoanut-trees. Babylon must be built in the midst of a verdant 
oasis, arisen almost suddenly from the aridity of the sands. 

In reasoning thus. Badger saw correctly: the future of civilization 
lay in the zone of heat and light. But, to live there, it was necessary 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



to modify nature and to transform the desert into a great garden be- 
fore founding cities there. 

This is how the work had been distributed: Jack Adams was 
charged with the drainage of the lake of Nedjef ; Cornill4 took the 
direction more particularly of the works in the plain of Babylon. 
Concerning this choice, a little incident had occurred which had a 

• certain impor- 
tance and had 
thrown a new 
light on the 
situation o f 
three of our 
principal char- 
acters. The 
two engineers 
desired to re- 
main at Baby- 
lon. But as it 
was impossible 
to satisfy them 
both, recourse 
was had to lot. 
Badger wrote 
the names of 
Jack Adams 
and Cornill6 
on two slips, 
which were 
then carefully 
Fatma drew out one of 
The names 




C^^»Vw^ 



folded and placed in the bottom of a hat. 

these slips ; it was Jack Adams' name which emerged. 

of Babylon and Nedjef w^ere put down on two new slips, and Jack 

Adams was asked to draw out one. 

Unhappily for him, fortune, which had favored him at the first 
turn, wished without doubt to justify her name as a fickle goddess, for 
she abandoned him at the decisive moment, and he drew the name of 
Nedjef. 

When Miss Nelly heard this result, she could not repress a move- 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. • 229 

ment of joy, which, almost imperceptible and fugitive as it was, had 
not escaped her father, whose eyes were at that moment fixed upon her. 

Since some time before this Badger had acquired the certainty that 
his daughter loved one of the two engineers ; but which one ? He 
could not have stated it precisely. The drawing by lots had seemed to 
him an excellent means for ascertaining this ; that is why, during the 
whole time that the operation lasted, he had but seldom taken his eyes 
off his daughter. 

The gleam of pleasure which had crossed Miss Nelly's eyes when 
Jack Adams read the name of Nedjef had told him what he desired to 
know. Xow it was settled — his daughter loved Cornill6. 

This discovery did not displease hinic Jack Adams and Cornill^ 
w^ere both perfect gentlemen, equally distinguished, equally intelligent, 
equally industrious, the one like the other. If Badger had been asked 
which of the two seemed to him most worthy of esteem it would have 
puzzled him to reply. Yet, if his daughter had loved Jack Adams, 
his affection, with quasi-maternal intuitions, would have experienced 
alarms which it did not feel at all concerning Cornille. An optimist 
by nature and also somewhat from reason, he had yet too much pene- 
tration and experience in- men not to have divined in Jack Adams the 
germ, if not of a coarse and vulgar egoism, at least of an unbounded 
self-love which time and successes would but develop. Cornille, on 
the contrary, seemed to him endowed to a degree greater than ordinary 
with that happy qualification to which we are pleased to give the name, 
somewhat odd, perhaps, but after all expressive and well-invented, 
of altruism. In short, it seemed to his lordship that his daughter's 
happiness would be better assured ^vith the Frenchman, and for his 
fatherly heart that was above all the important point. 

Jack Adams accepted his relative exile with good grace. 

" Fate has been just," he said to Cornille, stretching out his hand 
to him. " When I have gone to the frontiers of Persia or to the 
shores of the Persian Gulf you have remained alone ; it is now my 
turn to exile myself a little." 

" Quite an easy exile, my dear Adams," replied Cornille ; " from 
the sea of Nedjef to Babylon is but a step ; you will manage to cross 
it frequently." 

" Be sure that I shall not fail to do it," replied Jack Adams. 

Indeed, it might be said that, during the four months that his mis- 



230 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

sion lasted, there was not a week in which Jack Adams did not come 
to pass a day at Liberty. 

Towards the middle of the month of January, about a month after 
the commencement of the work, an exact account could already be 
rendered of the plan of the whole. It was, in fact, of an extreme 
simplicity. On the site of ancient Babylon an immense square of 
about two and a half miles on each side had been marked out. There 
the new city was to arise, dotted with verdant clumps of trees, inter- 
sected by canals of running water, and over which the canopies of 
date-palms would wave about like gigantic fans destined to cool the 
atmosphere. 

The original square had been divided into sixteen hundred other 
squares by means of forty parallel lines drawn in the direction of the 
river and forty other lines perpendicular to the first. An immense 
chess-board had thus been obtained, each square of which covered 
over two acres, that is to say, measuring about one hundred yards on 
each side. 

As Babylon was to be a gigantic city, the streets would have a 
breadth of one hundred yards by a length of two and a half miles. 
Cahuzac had made a remark with regard to this that was not devoid 
of a certain interest : that is, that the inhabitants of one side of the 
street would not be annoyed by the curiosity of the inhabitants of the 
opposite side. Besides, added he, the gossips would not be able to 
chatter and speak ill of the neighbors across the street. 

Large covered galleries, stretching from right to left, along the 
whole length of the street, would, during the day, shelter the pedes- 
trians from the heat of the sun, already tempered by the brooks of 
running water and a double row of trees. By an ingeniously con- 
trived system, the part of the roadway left open to the sky could also 
be covered by canvas stretched from one roof to the other of the cov- 
ered galleries. 

Modern Babylon might have been reproached with being quite 
monotonous, and with resembling the cities of the United States, over 
which — according to the expression of an American author — the god 
of architecture seems to have cast a malediction. 

In order to avoid a similar disgrace, and not to inflict on the old 
earth, which had seen so many wonderful cities arise, the pretentious 
and irritating vulgarity of our modern cities, Badger had resolved to 
borrow all his effects at once from the constant source of all beauty : 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



231 



nature. And, certainly, he was in a centre where he could draw freely 
on its treasures. By causing water to circulate in abundance in his 
nascent city, he could make of it a fairy-like city of trees and flowers. 
Under the luxuriant foliage, under the variety of the leaves, the inevita- 
ble poverty would disappear. 

In order to break the monotony, large places had been conceived, 
half of which were to be converted into parks, in which they would 
try to collect together the species belonging to different zones of cul- 
ture, and the other half of which were to be reserved for the markets, 
the places of reunion, the great public monuments. It would have 
been unjust to ask more, the rest was the aifair of the architects. It 
was hoped that they would come, like the rest, when the moment had 
arrived. Ah ! if only the Arabian genius had been able to rise from 
its torpor ! 

" The time is not yet ripe," murmured Grimm, mysteriously, put- 
ting the forefinger of his right hand to his brow. 

To see the birth of a city is assuredly one of the most curious and 
attractive spectacles that can be imagined. In order to bring such an 
enterprise to a successful end, there is perhaps not a single branch of 
human activity which it is not necessary to lay under contribution. It 
is a complex work in which every one is interested according to his 
qualifications : the poet like the artist, the artisan like the man of the 
world, the illiterate as well as the learned. What, then, is it when — 
as in the case of new Babylon — it is a question of causing it to issue 
all in a piece, and furnished with the complicated organism of modern 
life, from a desolate soil, abandoned for a long succession of centuries ! 

The digging of the canals greatly interested Miss Nelly and Fatma. 
Not a day passed on which they were not seen in one part or the other 
of the work-yards. Badger often accompanied them ; but it also fre- 
quently happened that he left them alone under Cornill^'s care. He 
knevv^ them to be safe and well taken care of. He had an absolute 
confidence in the character of his daughter, and in the honesty of the 
engineer. When the two young people were betrothed, he knew that 
he would be the first one to be informed of it. 

The canals had not only for their object the bringing of water to 
the city, they were to serve for irrigating the plantations and cultivated 
lands which extended all around over a vast perimeter. And so, for 
several miles around, interminable staked-out lines were seen to ex- 
tend, representing the future irrigating canals. 



232 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



That which greatly excited the curiosity of the young girls was^ 
above all, the working of the machines which were taking up the mud 
and the sand. Let us say a word about the method employed by 
Cornill6. 

The canals to be dug had little depth and little width, for they were 
to serve only for irrigation and not for the transport of ships or evea 




of simple boats. The machines for digging the ground were similar 
to those which served for piercing the isthmus of Suez and that of 
Panama. But, instead of working by the aid of steam or of com- 
pressed air, they received their movement from electricity. 

For this, large wires, stretched along the ground, placed the electric 
works of the Kasr in communication with the extracting apparatus. 
It was a truly curious spectacle, these powerful engines which worked 
without the eye being able to surmise where the motive power was. 
No fire, no smoke, nothing but a silent fluid, circulating in a stream in 
the copper wires. 

^ The happiest of all during these labors was certainly our archaeolo- 
gist, Grimmitschoffer. He abandoned his singular excavations in the 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



233 



form of trenches, for they became unnecessary ; the digging of the 
canals replaced them with advantage. 

"Now, what are you looking for in this manner?'' Monaghan 
asked him one day when he saw the archaeologist carefully inspecting 
the bottom of a ditch that had just been dug. " It seems to me that, 
until now, the archaeologists contented themselves with making excava- 
tions in the ruins of the ancient monuments, and not with digging 
ditches across the plains." 

" You are right,'' answered Grimm. " But, if my colleagues act 
thus, it is because they are content with searching the common remains 




of the palaces or temples. As for myself, I have a grander object in 
view, of which no one has thought until now." 

"And what is this object, Mr. Grimm?" 

" Hush ! " replied the savant. " I shall soon have gained it, and 
you will be astonished at the boldness of my researches." 

" Be it so," said the geologist ; " I have too much respect for the 
secrets of others to question you any further.'^ 

The labors brought to light a large number of curious objects, stones 
with inscriptions, foundations which threw a new light on the palaces 
of Babylon, statuettes, an immense quantity of articles which would 
make Badger's museum the richest in the whole world with regard to 
the ancient oriental civilization. 

The objects found belonged by right to his lordship. If Badger 
gave up all rights to his finds to Grimmitschoifer, those of the associa- 



234 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

tion were legitimately his. The scientist contented himself with glean- 
ing. His ambition * no longer lay there ; he was seeking the philoso- 
plier's stone of archaeology. 

What was it ? Xo one knew it, if not Grimmitschoffer. Did he 
know it himself? The future will soon tell us. 



I 




CHAPTER YIII. 



TILLAGE AND COOKING BY ELECTRICITY. 



At the same time that the work of digging the canals was begun, 
another operation, more common, but no less useful, was being per- 
formed. The ground comprised between two canals was being tilled 
and sown by means of electric machines. Ploughs and drills were 
moved by the aid of motors similar to those which served for the 
excavations. 

It will be remembered how fertile the soil of Mesopotamia becomes 
as soon as it is supplied with a little water. AYell, now it would not 
be wanting, and magnificent crops might be expected. For the first 
year, two hundred and fifty acres were thus sown, about a mile and a 
half from Liberty. 

The electric tillage, moreover, presented no difficulties whatever. 

(235) 



236 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

Cornill6, who was the organizer of this work, had but to copy several 
famous experiments already made in France, principally at Sermaize. 

The ground tilled and sown, it was still necessary to think of the 
future. The grains committed to the earth were to germinate and 
give birth to numerous ears. The essential point was to irrigate the 
plantations. Now, water was not far off, since the fields were sur- 
rounded by a belt of ditches in communication with* the Euphrates. 
But from the ditches the liquid had to be led to the roots of the stalks 
of corn. To arrive at this result pumps had to be set up. 

This irrigation required a new application of electricity. Each 
pump was furnished with a little electric motor, and each electric 
motor had to be connected by a special wire with the accumulators of 
the works on the Kasr. Thus this strange spectacle was afforded of 
solitary pumps working all alone, with no apparent motive power. 

Cornill6 had yet to occupy himself with the utilization of electricity 
for a domestic use of great interest. It was a question of nothing less 
than electric cooking and heating at Liberty. 

Chef Green was overwhelmed with joy. Just think ! Green was 
to be the first to heat his kettles, to roast his chickens by the aid of 
electricity. It must be admitted that this Was enough to turn the 
brain even of a cook. 

" Electric soup ! ^' 

" Roast venison, mode eledrique ! " 

" Asparagus, sauce dectrique ! " 

" Electric vanilla cream ! " 

Such was the menu which Green now saw every night in his dreams. 
Cornill6 in a few days transformed this dream intq reality. On the 
6th of February, at four o'clock in the evening, Green's kitchen was 
heated and lit up exclusively by electricity. From that day on not a 
single particle of coal appeared in the scuttles. 

What cleanliness now ! This was no longer a kitchen, it was a par- 
lor. No more of that dreadful coal which blackened the walls, no 
more smoke, no oven spreading heat and bad odor at random 
around it. 

A strange kitchen, in truth, where the most fantastic apparatus re- 
placed the common cooking-stove. 

"You see. Miss," said Green to Miss Nelly, who had come to wit- 
ness the first experiments in electric cooking; " I press this button. 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 237 

and behold the water boiling in the kettle. I press this other button, 
and there the chicken turns slowly before the hot roaster.^' 

At the moment when Green was speaking thus he was standing up 
before a board i^rovided with buttons, similar to those used for electric 
bells. Before each button a copper plate contained the indication of 
the corresponding apparatus and its use. 

Hot water, meat to boil, gridiron, roaster, stove No, 1, stove No. 
2, etc. 

It was sufficient to push a button in order to set the corresponding 
apparatus in action. By pushing another button, situated a little be- 
low the first, the electric current was interrupted and the operation 
brought to an end. Several apparatus were even automatic. Thus 
the current ceased spontaneously as soon as the temperature of the 
water reached the boiling-point and was re-established of itself when 
the temperature became too low. 

It is interesting to know how Cornille had solved the problem of 
electric heating. 

To the same extent that electric lighting has been a problem studied 
in all its phases, that of electric lieating has been neglected. This fact 
is easily explained : the means of economical heating abound around us. 
Coal, wood, petroleum, are not high in price, and, thanks to them, we 
obtain a steady heating. The need of heat borrowed from electricity 
has, therefore, not yet made itself felt. 

But at Liberty the problem deserved the trouble of being closely 
examined. The quantity of electricity which they had at their com- 
mand was so considerable that it became possible to replace heating by 
coal by electric heating. 

Cornille had found himself under the obligation of inventing the 
necessary apparatus himself. He had only availed himself of the 
property which the electric current possesses of bringing a fine plati- 
num wire to red heat. 

Each time that the electricity circulates in a metallic wire it develops 
more or less heat. The temperature is the higher as the diameter of 
the wire is smaller. 

Cornille had chosen platinum, notwithstanding its high price, lying 
between that of gold and that of silver. But platinum had one im- 
mense advantage, that of being fusible only at an excessive tempera- 
ture, and, above all, of not being attacked by the substances which 
would enter into the composition of the food. 



238 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

This last point was of the greatest necessity. A copper wire, for 
example, would have gradually dissolved in the food and would have 
ended by poisoning the guests. 

" Now," said Cahuzac, " Green poisons us sufficiently already, with- 
out electricity coming to the rescue." 

Simply a joke, having but the force of a witticism, for chef Green 
was really a model cook, having never disturbed anybody's digestion. 

The culinary instruments were divided into two categories— the 
roasters and the boilers. The first were to be brought to a high tem- 
perature, to a violent red heat, radiate and roast the meats turning near 
them. The object of the second was to boil the water and bring it to 
ebullition. 

The roasters were composed of platinum wires brought to incan- 
descence by the electric currents. As to the boilers, they were spirals 
of platinum immersed in the liquid that they were to boil. The spiral 
of platinum became red hot in the air. But in the mass of water it 
communicated its heat to the liquid, which was rapidly brought to 
ebullition. 

The 5th of February was a holiday for Badger and his companions. 
A grand banquet united the principal collaborators of his lordship 
around the same table. Jack Adams was present and gave his col- 
leagues an account of the state of the works in the lake of Nedjef. 
They were advancing rapidly and would soon be finished. 

The feast was merry, and a considerable number of toasts hailed the 
new electric cooking. One only, Cahuzac, found fault. At each new 
dish he was seen to make a grimace. 

" Why, what is it that you object to in this cooking ? " Cornill^ at 
last asked hitn, out of patience. 

" I find," replied the photographer, smacking his tongue against his 
palate, " I find that it has a slight odor of electricity." 

After the electric cookery Cornill6 did not rest yet. He set up two 
electric lifts, one at the Kasr, the other at Babel. From the same time 
dates also the appearance of the first paper at Liberty. This journal, 
which bore the title of Babylon Electrified and from which we have 
borrowed the greater part of our narrative, appeared but once a week. 
The paper was printed on a rotary press, set in movement by electricity. 
Thus thought was set down in indelible characters at Babylon by 
means of the falls of the Tigris. A unique event in the annals of 



BABYLON ELECTEIFIED. 239 

journalism— Babylon Electrified was distributed gratuitously to all its 
subscribers. 

Furthermore, the works of the Kasr and of Babel were connected 
by telephonic wires with the dwellings of the engineers at Babylon. 
The principal houses of the city were also connected with each other. 

Cornille delighted the inhabitants of Liberty by setting up electric 
clocks in the streets. Finally, an accident also gave Monaghan an 
occasion to show a new and original application of electricity. They 




came to tell him one day that one of the workmen at the Kasr had 
had a finger torn off. The unfortunate man's hand had been caught 
in one of the gearings of tlie steam-engine. It was lucky for him 
that the accident had had no worse consequences. He had run the risk 
of losing his hand, his arm, and perhaps even of being entirely crushed 
between the wheels. 

Monaghan went to the place of the accident. The amputation of 
the finger was found to be necessary. It was then that the idea came 



240 BABYLON ELECTEIFIED. 

to him of utiliziug the electric current for cutting off the crushed 
part. 

Monaghan took a long platinum wire and brought it to a white 
heat by the passage of electricity. Then, using this wire like a knife, 
he cut the patient's finger in a few seconds. The operation succeeded 
perfectly, and the invalid, notwithstanding the loss of his finger, felt 
relieved at once. 

This operation was naturally spoken of in the evening at the com- 
mon table. 

" How is it,'' asked Cornill^, who had witnessed the operation of 
the geologist-doctor, " that not a single drop of blood was lost, and 
that the patient did not show signs of a very intense pain ? Yet it 
seems to me that the artery cut by the wire would let blood flow, and 
that the section of the nerves would bring on the sensation of acute 
pain. Add to this that a burn is always very painful." 

"You forget one thing, my dear Cornill6," replied Monaghan; 
" that is that the platinum wire was brought to the temperature of 
red heat. Now, at this temperature, the cuts are cauterized, the arteries 
and veins closed, and the nerves so instantaneously destroyed that all 
pain is suppressed." 

" That is true," replied Cornill^. " That also calls to my mind a 
certain accident of which I was the victim quite recently. I desired 
to show some persons with what facility the electric current brought 
the platinum wires to a red heat. Well, through forgetfulness, I had 
kept one of the extremities of the platinum wire between my fingers 
at the moment when it was traversed by the current. I felt no pain 
whatever, and it was only through the smell of the burned flesh that 
I was apprized of the fact that the wire had penetrated my skin." 

The conversation then continued on the subject of other applications 
of electricity to medicine, and especially to surgery. Monaghan re- 
called that a great number of dynamo-electric machines were made for 
the use of invalids, with alternating weak currents. These currents 
are caused to pass through the sick parts, and real relief is at times 
obtained. 

Cornill6 told of another very curious surgical application of which 
he had been a witness. It was a question of extracting a small frag- 
ment of iron from the eye of a smith. A pair of iron pincers were 
arranged so as to serve as a magnetic nucleus for a powerful electro- 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



241 



magnet. The piece of iron then attached itself fast to the pincers, and 
could be drawn out. 

As they were in the humor for story-telling, Captain Laycock men- 
tioned a curious occurrence that had happened in Brazil during a short 
sojourn that he had recently made in that country. An invalid was 
afflicted with elephantiasis. A physician subjected the excrescence of 
flesh to an electric current, which finished by reducing the swelling 
and liquefying it, so to speak. 

" I have also heard it told,'' said Miss Nelly, " that the interior of 
the human body could be lit up, and the exact place seen where a pro- 
jectile had lodged itself 

" That is perfectly correct, Miss Badger,'' replied Monaghan. " Un- 
fortunately this procedure, so simple and so ingenious, can be applied 
only in cases where the projectile is situated in the neighborhood of 
the stomach or of the lungs. A small electric lamp is introduced into 
the stomach of the wounded person. Thus the interior of the body is 
strongly lit up, and it becomes possible to perceive the position of the 
opaque projectile." 

" How ingenious this all is ! " said Miss Nelly. " How convenient 
-electricity is, and how it is applied to innumerable uses." 

"Yes, Miss Badger," replied Cornille. "Electricity is certainly 
the most convenient form in which force can be utilized, for we trans- 
form it at will into movement, heat, and light." 
16 





CHAPTER IX. 



THE END OF AN ARCH^OLOGIST. 



For several months GrimmitschoiFer 

had been showing certain signs of mental 

derangement. His madness had begun on the day when he returned 

to Babylon, after his excursion on the upper Tigris and the frontiers 

of Persia. 

What characterized his morbid condition was that he seemed to 
have no aim whatever in his excavations. He neglected the really 
interesting finds, which were nevertheless not wanting, to search ex- 
citedly for " something " which he would not tell. 

The conclusion is that he did not know himself what he was seek- 
ing — a characteristic sign of madness. 

Yet, until then, they could still doubt. But doubt was no longer 
admissible when he was seen to abandon the hillocks and trace these 
interminable ditches in the midst of the plain. 

This time it was no longer to be denied, the poor savant Avas com- 
pletely mad. Every one had pity on him, let him alone, and only 
looked after him at long intervals. In short, his madness was mild ; 
he was a great child, incapable of doing the least harm. 

On the 18th of March, Grimmitschoffer came to Liberty in an agi- 
tation imix)ssible to describe. Bareheaded, his clothes in disorder, his 
eyes starting from their sockets, he noisily entered Badger's dining- 
room. All were assembled at that moment, quietly talking of the 
(242) 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 243 

works which were being executed at the time and of those which were 
soon to be undertaken. 

Jack Adams had left the lake of Nedjef on the evening of the day 
before, and was passing the day at Liberty. 

A bomb bursting suddenly in their midst could not have produced 
a greater surprise. Miss Nelly and Fatma both uttered a cry of 
terror, and left their seats, ready to flee. Every one rose, thinking 
of an attack, a fit of raving madness. 

But Grimm, on reaching the centre of the room, suddenly stopped ; 
then, looking around him with a triumphant air, he slowly uttered 
these words : 

" I have found it.'' 

And, as every one remained silent : 

" Yes, gentlemen, I have found that which I have been seeking for 
so long a time . . . Now, I can tell you to your face, you thought me 
mad. You pitied this poor GrimmitschofFer." 

As several made a negative gesture : 

" Do not deny it,'' continued Grimm, without giving them time to 
speak : " I saw it clearly by your looks. But to-day I come here with 
head erect, and I no longer fear your jests, for I have found it." 

"Well, what is it that you have found?" asked Badger, when 
Grimm had calmed himself 

" What I have found, my lord ? " cried the savant, raising his eyes 
towards heaven ..." What I have found ? . . . I prefer not to tell 
you, and to leave the pleasure of surprise to you. Come with me, and 
you shall see." 

" Where must we go ? " asked Jack Adams. 

" Is it to the end of the world ? " said Cahuzac. 

" No, my fine Mr. joker," replied Grimm to the photographer. " I 
even advise you to take your apparatus along, for that which you are 
going to see is so wonderful that you should leave its image for the 
admiration of posterity." 

" Where must we go ? " asked Jack Adams a second time. 

" To the seventh tell, on the road from Liberty to Bagdad," replied 
Grimm, " two miles from here." 

" Let us go," said Badger, " I'll follow you. The weather is agree- 
able to-day ; it will be good to take a walk. Gentlemen, are you of 
my opinion ? " 



244 BABYLON ELECTEIFIED. 

Everybody replied affirmatively, and they set out, following Grim- 

mitschoffer. 

"Another fit of madness, more violent, this time, than the others,'' 

observed Cornill<3. 

" It is to be feared," replied Miss Nelly. '' If this continues, he 
will have to be sent back to Europe in a strait-jacket." 

It soon became impossible to follow Grimm. H#walked on ahead, 
bounding at every tenth step, going now to the right, now to the left, 
like a drunken man. He was heard to speak between his teeth, some- 
times to utter hoarse, cries. They called him back when he was too 
far off; he then retraced his steps in the same wild manner. 

He must no longer have seen anything before him, for he came near 
falling down every instant. He stumbled over the stones in the road ; 
he became entangled in the bushes, he descended into the ditches and 
climbed over the heaps of sand. 

" He walks like a somnambulist," said Monaghan. 

Indeed, his look was fixed and glassy. 

At four o'clock they had almost reached the tell indicated by Grim- 
mitschoffer. Suddenly the latter stopped and said : 

"Advance no farther! I shall tell you what you are going to 
spp" 

They stopped and surrounded the archaeologist. 

"Gentlemen," he began, "there is nothing new under the sun." 

" Nil novi sub sole/^ said Cahuzac, who had studied his classics. 

" Everything was invented in antiquity," continued Grimm, without 
allowing himself to be disconcerted. 

"Not the railroads and the telegraph, at any rate," interrupted 
Oahuzac once more. 

" That's just where you are mistaken, sir," cried the archaeologist. 
*' I expect to prove to you this very day that railroads were known 
and worked by the Babylonians." 

At this they could no longer restrain themselves. Each one turned 
away to hide his uncontrollable laughter from the unfortunate man 
who was the cause of it. 

Ten minutes later one could still hear the little smothered cries that 
the two young girls uttered. At last, after having composed them- 
selves, they all drew near again to Grimmitschoifer, who had remained 
unmoved in the same place. 

" I understand your emotion at this news," resumed the poor mad- 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 246* 

man. " I can understand that tears rose to your eyes at this wonder- 
ful revelation." 

" Let us go and see your discovery," said Badger, at length, to put 
an end to this situation, which was becoming painful. 

" Not yet, my lord," exclaimed Grimmitschoifer, still impassive. 
" First let me tell you how I came to my discovery." 

The uncontrollable laughter was succeeded by pity. Grimm's ex- 
planations Avere listened to in silence. 

" Gentlemen," continued he, " there is a word that impressed me in 
the course of our journey on the Tigris. It was in the ruins of 
Khorsabad, after the discovery which I made of a warehouse of iron 
utensils." 

" Ah ! yes ; I remember," said Jack Adams, " the day after your 
misadventure in an underground passage of the Kouyunjik." 

" Alas ! " replied Grimmitschoifer, turning pale at the recollection 
of his mishap. " Our lamented Flatnose, taking me aside, said to 
me : ^ Lord Badger is envious of you. If you should discover a dy- 
namo-electric machine in the ruins of Nineveh or of Babylon he 
would be nothing but a plagiarist.' " 

^^ And then ? " said Badger. 

" Then, my lord, I searched. The more I reflected, the more I be- 
lieved in the existence of these machines in the times of Babylon." 

"And you have found an electric machine?" asked Badger, 
anxiously. 

" No," replied Grimmitschoifer. " I have not found any electric 
machine, but I have found something just as important as that." 

The savant interrupted himself an instant. Then, after having 
heaved a few sighs : 

" I have worked well, gentlemen," continued he. " I have wasted 
my health, I have shortened my life, and I feel that I shall not long 
survive my discovery. My name shall become immortal — that will 
be my consolation. I shall have rendered a service to the universe, 
which will be honored by having given birth to a scholar like 
myself." 

" What modesty ! " Cahuzac could not refrain from saying. 

But Grimmitschoifer no longer heard anything. He continued : 

" Gentlemen, not finding any electric machine, I turned to steam- 
engines. I said to myself: there was a depdt at Babylon." 



246 



BABYLON ELECTEIFIED. 



No one had the heart to interrupt the unfortunate man. Nothing 
is as painful as to witness the wreck of an intellect. 

" Yes, I sought this station among the tells of Babylon. Not dis- 
covering it, I resolved to dig up the ground in all directions : I would 
thus hit upon the ancient railways. It was for that that you saw me 
dig ditches across the plain. Still I found nothing. Discouragement 
overtook me, and I was on the point of abandoumg my idea. At 
last an accident set me on the road yesterday." 




" On the railroad ? " asked Cahuzac. 

" I have discovered a locomotive ! ! ! " cried Grimmitschoffer, with 
all the strength of his lungs. ^* Gentlemen, my locomotive is there, 
under that hillock. I have discovered the depot of Babylon ! ! ! " 

The archaeologist rushed towards the tell. They all followed him, 
running. 

Strange ! Yes, something could be perceived that resembled a 
steam-engine. Imbedded in the sand, amid a heap of bricks, three- 
quarters rusted a boiler appeared before the astonished gaze of Badger 
and his companions. 

Grimmitschoffer was radiant. His arms crossed on his breast, he 
resembled a conquering god. He was enjoying his triumph ; he was 
at the height of his glory. 

Cahuzac approached the boiler and went all around it. He was 



J5ABYL0N ELECTRIFIED. 247 

seen to stoop down as if to read an inscription ; then he came back to- 
wards Grimmitschoifer witli a jesting air : 

" My dear savant and friend Grimmitschoffer/' said he to the arch- 
aeologist, " permit me to congratulate you on your discovery. Draw 
near : you will be able to read on one of the sides of your locomotive 
the name of its maker.'' 

" They all went forward towards the boiler, Grimm in front with 
Cahuzac. 

" Stoop down," said the latter. " Look here ; read : 

GAIL & CO.— PARIS." 

Grimmitschoifer uttered not a single word. The blood rose sud- 
denly to his face ; he turned two or three times on himself and fell 
heavily to the ground, against the boiler which he had just discovered. 

He was raised np immediately and all necessary attentions were 
lavished upon him. It was useless ; the apoplectic stroke had been 
fatal. 

Grimm was dead ! . . . 

The loss of Grimmitschoifer without doubt was not likely to cause 
as much regret as that of good Flatnose ; but, although the archaeologist 
won but very little sympathy, and though, swelled with vanity, he had 
not succeeded in making himself liked by his companions, yet this 
unexpected death nevertheless spread consternation among the members 
of the expedition. 

" Here are two victims in less than a year," said Badger, on the day 
after the accident ;" if that continues, who of us will be left to witness 
the completion of the work ? " 

" That is true, my lord," replied Monaghan. " But it must be ob- 
served that the two victims have themselves been the instruments of 
their death. Flatnose would still be living were it not for his blind 
temerity and bravery. As for Grimmitschoifer, he died of pride. He 
would never have survived his disgrace as a savanV^ 

" By the bye," asked Badger, " how do you explain the presence of 
this boiler, constructed at CaiFs, among the rubbish of a tell ? " 

" I have made inquiries," replied Monaghan ; " here are the results : 
Some twenty years ago a steamboat tried to ascend the Euphrates above 
Babylon. The little vessel ran aground on a sandbank. The crew, 
after useless efforts to set it afloat again, had to abandon it to go to the 



24a 



PABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



month of the river in quest of more powerful means for saving the 
vessel. But, when they returned, the ship had completely disappeared. 
A band of Arab pillagers had carried off all that it was possible to 
take, then completed the destruction of the rest by setting fire to it. 
The steam-engine itself was taken off. But, not being able to bring 
away so heavy a weight, the plunderers buried it in the tell, where it 
was unfortunately found again by Grimmitschoffer." ♦ 

" I do not understand," said Badger, *' why Grimm had not read 
the inscription, yet plain enough, which was the cause of his death." 

"Pardon me," replied Monaghan, "that is easily understood, 
Grimm, full of joy at the discovery, did not take the time to examine 
it. Entirely blinded by his fixed idea that locomotives existed at 
Babylon, lie believed that his find was genuine. In the midst of a 
ruin, he would certainly expect to find only objects belonging to the 
same epoch as that ruin. It must be acknowledged that for a mind 
engrossed like his the mistake was easy to make." - 



1 





CHAPTER X. 



A REVOLT. 



While setting up the numerous electric apparatus which we have 
described around Liberty and in the town itself, Cornill6 had taken 
care not to neglect his thermo-solar pile. It was complete, and the 
time was approaching when it would become necessary to make 
use of it. 

It was in the middle of May, and the turbines of the upper Tigris 
were beginning to slacken their movement. The waters, decreasing 
more and more within a fortnight, had suddenly fallen over three 
feet. 

It was the end of the winter season for the hydraulic works ; the 
summer season was to begin for Babel. After the electricity pro- 
duced by the waterfalls, the electricity produced by the rays of 
the sun. 

" After the rain^ fine weather," as Cahuzac said. 

(249) 



250 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

Indeed, the time was approaching when, as the turbines would 
cease to work altogether, it would become necessary to renew the 
supply of electricity by the thermo-solar pile. Cornill^ was awaiting 
with an impatience easy to understand this day, which was to decide 
his future, when grave events occurred which well nigh com- 
promised the future of the work and indefinitely deferred the welfare 
of our hero. 

On the evening of the 21st of May the lighthouse and the whole 
town of Liberty were wrapped in the most profound darkness. This 
is what had happened. 

For some time before this a secret restlessness reigned in the 
works. A week before. Badger had received a deputation from the 
European workmen, who demanded an increase in wages on ac- 
count of the approaching heat which would make the work more 
fatiguing. Others, professing to be overworked, desired to return to 
England. 

In appearance the demands of the w^orkmen were just ; in reality 
they were not. Living at Liberty was for them extremely cheap. 
They had dwelling, lighting, heating for nothing. The humblest 
laborer earned no less than from eight to ten shillings * a day. As to 
the victuals, they had to pay for them, which was but just ; but there 
was a fixed price on all goods, and this price certainly represented the 
minimum of the cost price. Their lot was thus, in truth, preferable 
to that of the workmen in Eurojie, without even taking into con- 
sideration the facilities which would be afforded those who should 
desire to become colonists, and the future prospects that were open 
before them. 

As to returning to their native land, no obstacle was laid in the way 
of any workman who asked to do so. Badger in that c;ase furnished him 
with the sum necessary for reaching Bassorah, and to get from there to 
any part of Europe which he named. 

But now it was no longer a question of one or two workmen ask- 
ing to return to their country — there was a whole troop of them, and 
it was unreasonable to demand that Badger should pay the expenses 
of a desertion en masse, the consequences of which might be disastrous 
for his interests. 

Badger, therefore, did not doubt for a moment that a ferment of 

* About $2.00 to $2.50.— Translator. 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 251 

discord existed at Liberty and that the workmen were incited by 
some ringleader. But where find this leader? How extirpate this 
ferment ? 

It was necessary to act with extreme prudence. Without promising 
anything whatever, Badger dismissed the embassy, saying that he would 
first have to consult his associates. 

On that very evening, in fact, Badger gave his friends an account 
of what had passed during the day and explained the situation to 
them. They were all convinced, like himself, that there was among 
the workmen — as it nearly always happens in such cases — a firebrand 
who incited them to revolt. 

The main point was to gain time. 

On the following day. Badger received the delegates again. He 
showed them how worthless, how unjust even, their demands were ; 
talked long to them of the exceptional situation which was given them 
by the association of which he was the principal, and concluded by 
declaring that he did not believe in the sincerity of their demands. 
He thought that they were concealing the truth from him. 

The delegates tried at first to deny that there was any premedita- 
tion with them, or a secret motive for their proceeding. But, 
forced to their last intrenchments and driven against the wall 
])y the inflexible logic of his lordship, they finally confessed the 
truth. 

The truth was that the European workmen had yielded to fear. 
The native population of the town and of the works, so peaceful until 
then, was very much agitated for some time. The Arab workmen 
frequently assembled together, and the resolutions which they took in 
these private meetings, from which the foreign workmen were carefully 
excluded, were always kept secret. 

One fine day, however, some European workmen were invited to 
attend one of these meetings. There it was made known to them that 
the native workmen, dissatisfied with their wages, were resolved to 
demand an increase. And as Lord Badger would no doubt have an- 
swered them that the European workmen showed themselves to be less 
exacting, the latter were called upon to demand an increase immediately 
for themselves. 

The Europeans, who thought their wages were sufficient, declared 
that they would not obey this order. At this reply great was the wrath 
of the Arab workmen. They declared in plain terms that they were 



252 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



going to drive away the foreigners, put them all to death, and destroy 
the works from top to bottom. 

It was then that the Europeans, alarmed, promised the Arabs 
to obey them and to demand a large increase in wages of Lord 
Badger. Some, more timorous than the others, even resolved to ask 
to depart immediately. 

These revelations were grave. It was necessary to act with energy. 
Captain Laycock proposed nothing less than to fusillade all the Arab 
workmen. 

" No,'' replied Badger. " We must be prudent. It is perhaps still 




time to bring the rebels back to reason. Before having recourse to 
force, I want to exhaust persuasion. But if I fail I shall not hesitate 
to break down all obstacles." 

" Another one who believes in the efficacy of kindness and clemency," 
said Cahuzac to himself. " If it were I, I should draw up all these 
blackamoors in a line, and, ^ birr ! ' they would be struck down by 
electricity, which would do wonderfully well here." 

After a short deliberation, it was left to Badger's skill to put an end 
to the conflict. The European workmen were called together. His 
lordship assured them that no harm should come to them as long as 
he were there, and urged them quietly to resume their work. On the 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 253 

other hand, he summoned the Arab workmen, promised them a slight 
increase of wages, and threatened them with the anger of the padishah 
if they persisted in their refractoriness. 

For a few days everything seemed to be restored to order. But on 
the 21st all the workmen, natives and foreigners, refused to go up to 
the works on the Kasr. 

That is why the town of Liberty was enwrapped for a whole night 
in complete darkness. 




I 



CHAPTER XI. 



THE THERMO-SOLAR PILE. 



This time there was no hesitating — the least appearance of weak- 
ness would have been the ruin of the expedition, the miscarriage of 
the dreams for the future, •and perhaps the signal for a general 
massacre of the Europeans present at Liberty. But with men of 
the stamp of Badger and his associates, nothing like this was to be 
feared. 

Without losing a minute, Badger telegraphed to the English consul 
at Bagdad, informing him of what had taken place, and requesting him 
to send Turkish troops with all possible speed. At the same time he 
(254) 



I 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 265 

asked him to inform the governor of his firm intention to arrest the 
principal culprits and have them taken under safe escort to Bagdad to 
be tried there. 

Two hours later the consul answered that the governor gave Badger 
carte blanche to punish the guilty parties. He notified him, besides, 
of the near arrival of a hundred Turkish soldiers. 

Badger went among the rebels immediately after, armed with his 
revolver. He was accompanied by Captain Laycock, by the two 
engineers and by Blacton, also armed ; Monaghan and Cahuzac had 
remained with the two young girls, prepared for any emergency. 

" Do not leave my father," had been Miss Nelly's whispered en- 
treaty to Cornille. 

Badger informed the Arabs of his intention to arrest the culprits, 
and of the near arrival of the Turkish soldiers. As he finished 
speaking, one of the Arabs approached him, his eye aflame, brandish- 
ing a long knife. With a shot from his revolver, Badger stretched 
him at his feet. 

At sight of this, there was a general stampede in the group of na- 
tives. Not that the Arabs lack courage, but every energetic use of 
force exercises a sort of fascination over them. Badger's action had 
invested him in their eyes with a prestige to which they submitted 
without even attempting to resist. 

There remained the European workmen. They assured Badger 
that they had acted only under the threat of the Arabs, and that they 
were v;illing to take up their work again. Badger deemed it prudent 
to arm them, for fear of a more general uprising on the part of the 
Arabs. Those among the latter who had openly taken part in the 
revolt did not return, either on that day or on those following. A 
few came back to Liberty and humbly asked to enter the works again. 
Badger, thinking the revolt quelled, complied with their request. 

One of them attracted notice by his supplications and his protesta- 
tions of repentance. It was a laborer who had settled in Liberty not 
long before. Dressed like an Arab, his appearance and speech would 
cause him to be recognized rather as a Kurd. Badger gave him per- 
mission to enter the works again like the others. But if he had seen 
the glance full of hate which the Kurd darted at him when he had 
crossed the threshold, Badger would have comprehended that the man 
whom he had killed was neither the principal nor the most dangerous 
culprit. 



256 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



When the Turkish soldiers arrived, three days later, all was quiet 
at Liberty. Nevertheless, as the return of similar occurrences might 
1^ feared*, it was decided that they should remain in the town. 

The departure of a part of the workmen had fortunately brought 
no serious disturbance into the labors at the works. On the 25th of 
Mav they were ready to set the thermo-solar pile in motion. 

It had been decided that they should await the Mme when the sun 
already stood high over the horizon before beginning the working of 

the apparatus. At ten o'clock, the 
rays would fall in an almost per- 
pendicular direction, and the maxi- 
mum yield would be obtained. 

From nine o'clock on, Cornill^ 
was at his post on the platform of 
Babel. He had no doubt as to 
the result. He had made so many 
preliminary experiments that he be- 
lieved himself able to foretell with 
certainty the quantity of electricity 
that could be collected in the accu- 
mulators. Nevertheless, since the 
morning, he was prey to a great 
agitation. 

Suppose that the sun which was 
rising, instead of shining on his 
triumph, was going to light up his 
defeat ? It would only be a drawn 
game, after all ; he would begin 
again ; he was sure of his calcula- 
tions. But it was not only a question of success that was at issue ; it was 
not his fortune, his ambition, which were at stake, it was his love, his hap- 
piness. Miss Nelly had said to him : " Until then, think of nothing 
else." From t!iis day forth, he would therefore be permitted to aspire 
oj)enly to her hand, to allow not a day to pass without proving his 
alFection to her, witliout striving to win her own. They would then 
form projects together for the future. Was it really possible, such a 
dream ? Was not some evil spirit watching in the darkness to prepare 
a terrible awaking for him ? 

But no, everything favored him : the sky was splendid; not a cloud, 




BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 267 

however light, to hide the rays of the sun. No moisture in the air to 
diminish the intensity of its rays. A burning heat, pouring down on 
the copper plates of the pile, and quite ready to be transformed into 
electricity. 

Cornille placed the two poles of the pile in communication with the 
wires which led to the accumulators in the works on the Kasr. He 
carefully examined the wires which connected the elements of the pile, 
so as to avoid any interruption of the current. He was desirous of 
having a hand himself in the final preparations and to leave nothing 
unthought of, so that he should be able, whatever happened, to bear 
witness to himself that he had kept the promise made to his beloved 
one, to think of nothing but the final success. Ah ! if she were only 
there. 

The hand on the dial of Babel was drawing near to ten o'clock, 
when two persons, who were no others than Miss Nelly and Fatma, 
appeared at the end of the terrace. 

For those who believe in the effects of inspiration, there will be 
nothing surprising in this appearance. Since morning, Miss Nelly 
also was tormented by a distressing expectation. She also had wished 
to be alone. She had shut herself up in her room and had refused to 
accompany her father and his friends, who had gone to the accumula- 
tors in order to be enabled to ascertain immediately the result obtained. 

She was feverishly watching the clock slowly marking the minutes, 
when, moved by a sudden resolution, she took her hat, her parasol, her 
gloves, and, leaning on the arm of her faithful companion, she pro- 
ceeded towards the Kasr. 

Somewhat out of breath from a rapid ascent, the two young girls 
stopped a moment before advancing towards the engineer who, ab- 
sorbed in his work, had not heard them coming. Miss Nelly advanced 
alone, and found herself opposite Cornill6 just at the moment when he 
raised his head, after having finished his examination. 

" You here. Miss Nelly ! '^ cried he, overwhelmed with joy and 
surprise. 

" I wanted to come myself to inspire you with courage and confi- 
dence,'' replied his lordship's daughter. " Was I wrong in violating 
orders ? " 

"Can you speak so?" said the engineer. "I have never been 
wanting either in courage or in confidence; but now that you are 
17 



258 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

here, my good genius, my patron fairy, I am certain of success. Thank 
you, Miss Nelly, thank you/' 

These words agitated the young girl. But, overcoming her emotion, 
she said to the engineer, in a still faltering voice : 

"And now, attention to your calculations ; you run the risk of being 
behind time, and my father is punctuality itself. There is no longer 
any one here : Fatma and I will wait quietly in sorile corner." 

However quickly this scene had taken place, it had lasted several 
minutes. Violent strokes of the hammer rang on the bell of the tele- 
phone which placed Babel and the Kasr in communication. 

Cornill^ hastened towards it and put the instrument to his ear. 

" What has happened ? " asked Badger ; ^^ it is already five minutes 
past the hour, and there is still nothing.'' 

Cornill6 drew out his watch, an excellent chronometer ; it showed 
indeed five minutes past ten. 

"An involuntary delay," he replied immediately, "I'll set it in 
motion." 

And, running towards the ends of the wire, he put them in commu- 
nication with the poles of the pile. 

This done, he went back to the telephone, waited five minutes, and 
asked : 

"What result?" 

"Perfect," replied Badger, a minute later, Cornill^ anxiously re- 
peating all his words. " The figure announced is even exceeded by 
five units." 

"My best congratulations, Mr. Engineer," Miss Nelly then said, 
advancing and roguishly outlining a ceremonious courtesy. Then, 
pressing Cornille's hand, first with the grave tenderness of a sister, 
and then with the tender and fond affection of ^ifiance, "Charles," 
she said to him — it was the first time that she called him thus by his 
Christian name — " Charles, I authorize you to ask my father for my 
hand this very day." 

Before he had even found the strength, in the ecstasy of his happi- 
ness, to stammer a word of thanks or at least to fall on his knees, as 
a well-bred lover would not have failed to do. Miss Nelly had taken 
Fatma's arm again and was hastily descending the stairs. 

Coming saw her go down the slope, light as a bird, and soon dis- 
appear in the direction of the Kasr. 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 259 

" I do not know what I should have done/' he muttered, " if she 
had married another than myself. '^ 

In a moment his imagination transported him to London ; he be- 
held himself occupying a high rank in English society, the husband 
of the handsomest and richest heiress of the three kingdoms. His face 
became gloomy. 

And if Lord Badger refused to give him the hand of his daughter ? 
Might he not have high pretensions for her, want a son-in-law that 
was noble, wealthy, bearer of an illustrious name ? 

\Yas not his name illustrious now? To-morrow it would be in 
every one's mouth ; soon it would have gone around the world. Is 
the fame of to-day not equal to that of the past ? Is the glory which 
one owes to oneself not superior to that which one has received from 
one's ancestors ? No, he was proud to have been chosen by Miss 
Nelly ; but Miss Nelly might be proud to be his wife. 

Cornill6 owed it to himself, as well as to Miss Nelly, to make his 
request on that very day. 

After lunch, when the others had retired one after the other, Cor- 
nille approached Lord Badger and requested a moment's conversation 
with him. His lordship immediately asked him to step into his 
private room. As soon as they were alone : 

*^ I expected you, my dear Cornille," said Badger, simply. " My 
daughter has told me all. You love her, she loves you. You have 
come to ask her hand of me ? " 

" Yes, my lord," replied the engineer, surprised, for all that, by this 
abrupt entering upon the subject — for the French have always some 
difficulty in becoming accustomed to the simple way in which the 
question of marriage, so complicated in France, is treated in Eng- 
land — " yes, my lord, I come to ask Miss Nelly's hand of you." 

" My daughter has chosen you. I approve of her choice. From 
to-day on consider yourself as betrothed to my dear child." 

Cornille had never seen his lordship so moved. Tears flowed from 
his eyes in spite of him. These men of iron, who shrink from noth- 
ing, have the tenderest hearts. Badger passionately loved his daugh- 
ter, the living image of his well-beloved wife, and he said to himself 
that he was no longer the first in her affection. 

In the presence of this overflowing of paternal grief, Cornille 
want^ to apologize for his happiness. Badger gave him no time to 
speak ; he hurriedly entered his daughter's room, and soon came back, 



260 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

holding her by the hand ; then, placing this hand between those of 
Cornill6 : 

"My daughter," said he to her, "behold your future husband. 
From this day on you are his. Love him as your mother loved me." 

The two fiances then knelt before his lordship, who blessed them, 
and, having raised them up again, drew their heads to his breast. 

Fatma was asked to come and share the joy of this family scene. 
Had she not become Badger's second daughter ? 

" My children," Badger then said, " I now require a promise of 
you. Your marriage will be solemnized a year from now in London. 
In a year our experiments at Babylon will be ended and we shall re- 
turn to England. Until then I desire absolutely that no one shall be 
able even to suspect what has occurred here. For everybody my 
daughter and the engineer Cornill6 are to each other what they were 
in former days, and nothing more. I have serious motives for acting 
thus, which you shall know when the time comes." 

" You wish it, my father," replied Cornill6; " without trying to dis- 
cover what the reasons are for your conduct, I promise on my honor 
to follow your intentions." 

" As to my daughter, I Avill ianswer for her," resumed Badger. " She 
has shown what she can do in the way of dissimulation," he added, 
laughing, " and I know that I can also count on Fatma." 

" You know that I should be killed sooner than speak," said Fatma, 
resolutely. 

They could, indeed, count on her ; to spare those whom she called 
her deliverers the shadow of a care, the poor girl would have consented 
to pass through fire. 

The dinner party which ended this memorable day was full of 
spirits and cheerfulness. The joy over the results which had been 
attained was so exuberant that it hid the black spots which still 
showed themselves at the horizon. Dreams of the future were formed 
at a time when the present was hardly assured. 

Jack Adams, as fervent in his enthusiasm for the present time and 
his worship of science as the late Grimmitschoffer had been with 
regard to the past, extolled beyond measure the triumphs of mind over 
matter. 

" See whether man has the right to govern nature," cried he with 
vigor. " What would she be without him ? A mass of incoherent 
or injurious forces. The force which we have borrowed from the 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



26t 



waters of the Tigris and which we have utilized here, of what use 
would it be were it not for us ? Simply to round oif the pebbles in 
the bed of the river and to wear oif the edges of the cliffs on its 
banks. And the sun, instead of scorching the sands of the desert 
and burning the earth with its fires, will now have to work more 
usefully/' 

" You are right, my dear Adams," said Badger ; " but do not for- 
get that if man governs nature, it is by using nature herself. Man is 
but a wonderful organizer, an admirable worker, and that is enough 
for his glory. Happy when he remains faithful to the rth which the 
creative will assigns to him and when he does not himself become a 
destructive power.'' 

It was late when they separated. Cornill6 was the last to retire, 
still rocked in his dream of happiness. He had just attained that 
height of destiny which it is given to so few men to reach even once 
in their lives. One and the same day had made him happy and 
famous. It now remained for him to drain the series of deceptions 
and trials with which fortune requires her favors to her chosen ones to 
be paid. This is right, after all ; otherwise man might be tempted to 
think himself a god. 





CHAPTER XII. 



THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM. 



On the following day, May 26th, the thermo-electric pile was i^ut 
in operation at six o'clock in the morning. 

At three o'clock in the afternoon they came to inform Cornill^ that 
it was becoming necessary to interrupt the current. All the accumu- 
lators were already charged to their utmost capacity. 

They had too much electricity ! 

At this news Badger called his collaborators together. He asked 
them what it was possible to do in order not to lose this precious force. 
It was regretable to see themselves under the obligation of allowing 
the pile to Avork only during part of the day, at a time when they 
could collect a good third more of electricity. 

"An abundance of good things does no harm," observed Mona- 
ghan. " You will escape with losing only the excess of fluid." 

" Might not new accumulators be constructed ? " said Blacton, in 
his turn. 

" No," replied Badger, " this means is impossible. ^Ye cannot make 
accumulators here. It would be necessary to have them sent over from 
England and erect new buildings on the Kasr, which is already rather 
narrow." 

" I know a very simple way," said Jack Adams. " It has been 
planned by one of my friends, Mr. Ayrton, an engineer. It was 
(262) 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 263 

a question of decomposing water under very high pressure by means 
of electric currents. It would be possible to condense in this way in one 
and a half cubic feet of a mixture of oxygen and hydrogen the force 
capable of producing the work of one horse-power during sixty hours." 

" Why, but that is magnificent ! " cried Badger. " Is it possible to 
set up this apparatus here now ? Have we the means of constructing 
a receiver to hold this gaseous mixture ? '' 

" Perfectly, my lord,'' replied Jack Adams. " I'll undertake to set 
up this receiver myself and to have it Avorking in a week." 

" Be it so," said Badger. '' Mr. Jack Adams, I count on your 
skill and on your devotion." 

In spite of himself. Badger somewhat emphasized this last word, 
devotion. 

It is now time to tell why his lordship had required of Cornill^ 
and of his daughter the oath to keep their promise of marriage 
secret. 

Badger had observed a little coldness on the part of Jack Adams 
for three months past. The cause had escaped him at the beginning ; 
but the scene which had taken place with regard to the drawing lots 
for the distribution of the works at Babylon and at the lake of Nedjef 
had completely opened his eyes. 

Yes, there could be no doubt about it, there was rivalry between 
Jack Adams and Cornille, rivalry in science and rivalry in love. 

Jack Adams was jealous of the invention of the thermo-electric 
piles made by Cornille. He was jealous of Cornille's love for Miss 
JS^elly. 

Badger, who was a sharp observer, had acquired very many proofs 
of it. Quite recently, at the time of the revolt of the Arabs, he had 
observed with sadness the voluntary effacement of Jack Adams. He 
had said nothing, done nothing ; but one could feel that this unpleasant 
mishap did not displease him too much. This revolt of the Arabs, 
which had retarded the working of Cornille's pile, served his jealousy. 

Then, even on the day before, when Cornille's success had been so 
complete and so brilliant. Jack Adams had joined but feebly in the 
general congratulations. 

On the other hand, Badger had observed Jack Adams' assiduous at- 
tentions to Miss Nelly. For several weeks he had even believed that 
his daughter had a secret inclination towards the engineer. She had 
sought his society by preference, avoiding that of Cornille. But he had 



264 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

quickly diseovered his error. " Tell me whom you avoid/' he said to 
himself in thinking of his daughter, " and I shall tell you whom you 

love." 

Badger had thus acquired the certainty that Jack Adams loved his 
daughter, but that his daughter did not love him. 

Now, above all, it was necessary to avoid a rupture. The success of 
his attempt was at stake. It was impossible for him to deprive him- 
self of the services of Jack Adams, a scientist of the first class, and 
an engineer of consummate ability. 

Not that he believed Jack Adams to be capable of a base action. 
Certainly not ; in his opinion, the engineer had too noble a soul and 
a heart too much above the common. That a base creature should yield 
to his animosity, was to be feared ; but, as for Badger, this heroic and 
proud man, who judged his fellow-men by his OAvn standard, he could 
not suppose that another would be capable of doing what he himself 
would not have done. 

In short, it was best to avoid any surprise. He therefore believed 
himself to be acting wisely in carefully keeping secret the betrothal of 
his daughter to Cornill^. 

Jack Adams worked with ardor at the construction of the receiver 
which was to contain the mixture of oxygen and hydrogen. Materials 
were not wanting, nor the means for employing them. 

In order to resist a pressure of several half-scores of atmospheres, it 
was necessary to use thick sheet-iron. Now, there had just been 
brought from England a whole collection of steel plates cut and ar- 
ranged for constructing a gas-vat. It is true that this receiver, similar 
to the gasometer in the gas-works, had originally been intended for 
another use. 

It will be remembered, in fact, that it was designed to set up works 
on the shores of the Persian Gulf for utilizing the waves of the sea. 
The system consisted in making use of the waves for setting in action 
a powerful pump which would compress air in a reservoir. 

Now, it was this reservoir which Jack Adams wanted to use for the 
decomposition of water by the thermo-solar pile. So long as Cornille's 
pile furnished such quantities of electricity, it became useless to go far 
away to collect the natural forces of the wind, of the tide and of the 
waves of the sea. 

Badger, consulted with regard to the abandonment of this part of 
the programme, was the first to advise it. In his opinion, the trial 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 265 

experiments had given such results that it was advisable to finish them 
as quickly as possible, to publish them, to found a great joint stock 
company for the construction of new Babylon, and to make an appeal 
for capital. 

Besides, to tell the truth, the utilization of the wind, of the tides 
and the waves of the sea seemed to him still too much in its infancy. 
In the waterfalls, and above all in the rays of the sun, there were the 
means for furnishing sufficient electricity to the future colony. It 
would always be time to finish the experiments with the rest. 

When the receiver was constructed, it was necessary to find a suitable 
site for it. It was decided to place it on the top of Babel, in the vicin- 
ity of the pile. There, it would be near to the electric source, and 
under the immediate supervision of Cornille. 

Ten days after the events which we have just related, the new es- 
tablishment was completely finished. It had a vague resemblance to 
gas-works. By means of thick platinum wires, the water was decom- 
posed into its two elements by the electric current. Oxygen and hydro- 
gen, subjected to a pressure of thirty atmospheres, were accumulated 
in the receiver. 

Thanks to this arrangement, they possessed a considerable source of 
heat : for it is known that an excessively high temperature is obtained 
by the combination of oxygen with hydrogen. 

A month has passed away since the revolt of the Arabs. The 
works of the Kasr have now taken on their usual appearance again ; 
the town of Liberty is quiet. Were it not for the presence of the 
Turkish soldiers, nothing would have recalled the painful scenes of the 
threatened riot of the 21st of May. * 

Babel, which appeared to slumber for so many months, has in its 
turn become a centre of activity. Now it is the soul of Badger's en- 
terprise, for at its summit electricity is produced, the source of every 
movement. 

It will be remembered that one of Badger^s great projects was the 
construction of electric railways. Since Cornill^'s thermo-solar pile 
furnished streams of electricity, it was now possible to think of the 
construction of the most useful railroad. 

This latter was quite naturally indicated among the three principal 
lines which were to start from Babylon. These three lines were : that 
of Bagdad, that of the Persian Gulf, and lastly that of the Mediterra- 
nean. The line of Bagdad presented serious disadvantages if it was 



266 



BABYLON ELECTKIFIED. 



built first, for it would permit the hostile populations of the East to 
come easily to the new city. Badger desired, on the contrary, to iso- 
late Babylon as long as possible from the rest of Mesopotamia, which 
is watered by the Tigris. Tlie line of the Persian Gulf would not be 
of use until later on. There thus remained only the railroads which, 
ascending the Euphrates, would proceed across Syria to join the Medi- 
terranean. 

For this year, they desired simply to construct a short branch of 
about twelve miles, quite sufficient for the preparatory trials. The 
work advanced rapidly, especially as to the embankments which were 
to protect the railway from the inundations of the river. 

Thus, everything seemed to proceed as well as could be desired. 
And yet disquietude reigned in all hearts. 

What an anxiety seizes you suddenly in the middle of a fine sum- 
mer's day at the approach of a violent storm ? Nothing, in appear- 
ance, disturbs the purity of the sky, and yet every one has the pre- 
sentiment of an unknown danger. The bird becomes silent in the 
branches, the insects go back below the ground, the grass itself trem- 
bles and withers. Man, uneasy, examines the horizon, and looks in 
the distance for the cloud which is to bring the lightning. 

Thus Corning, a more sensitive nature than the others, perhaps, more 
particularly felt the storm approaching. Two things gave him espe- 
cially much uneasiness : the revolt of the Arabs and the care which 
Badger had taken to keep secret his betrothal to Miss Nelly. 

It is true that the Arabs were now quiet. But it seemed to Cornill6 
that this calm very much resembled that which precedes a storm. He 
no longer found the same sympathy as formerly among these workmen. 

Always sparing of words, they worked silently, retired within them- 
selves, as if impatiently awaiting a much longed-for coming event. 

Cornill^ had tried to make them speak. They had answered him 
that no one bore Badger or him any malice, that they all liked their 
masters, whom they found good and generous. 

What displeased them was the work accomplished by his lordship. 
They foresaw that they would be driven out of Mesopotamia in tlie 
near future. They had been told that Bad2:er wanted to found a lar^e 
city on the site of Babylon, and people it with Europeans, that is to 
say, Christians. They, the Arabs and Mahometans, would therefore 
be obliged to flee and to return to Arabia, where existence was so hard 
and the soil of such little fertility. 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



267 



Then, he had further learned that the dervishes looked unfavorably 
on the works executed in their country. All that was being done at 
Babylon was the work of the evil spirit. The wonders which had 
been witnessed could be explained only by his inter- 
vention. On their return home, after having seen the 
electric lighting of Liberty and the lighthouse of the 
Kasr, the Arabs had shown less religious fervor than 
before. It was therefore necessary to root out this 
ferment of indiscipline and of relaxing in faith. 
If care was not taken, Christianity would soon 
replace the religion of Mahomet. 

" Death to these dogs of Christians ! " 
-fiHfilB ^^ ^^^^ ^^^ marabouts in the mosques. 
Sooner or later, an outburst of 
rage and hate was to be expected 
on the part of the populace 
against Badger's enterprise. The 
only thing which could yet save 
1^ Badger and his companions was 
the support of the Sultan 
and of the armed 
force. But it is 
known how fee- 
ble is the influ- 
-l^' ] ence of the Sul- 
iCj^ tan in Mesopo- 
tamia. Every 
year Avitnesses 
the outbreak of 
considerable revolts, of 
which the Turk gets 
the upper hand only with 
much difficulty. If relig- 
ious fanaticism was min- 
gled with it, there was 
mk everything to fear. 

The commander of the faithful himself seemed to lend a favorable 
ear to the complaints which were addressed to him against Badger. 




268 BABYLON ELECTKIFIED. 

The fact was, therefore, that he too feared the influence of the pow- 
erful English lord on the populations of Asia Minor. 

We have also said that one of the things which troubled Cornill^, 
was the silence which Badger desired to preserve in regard to the be- 
trothal of his daughter, and the reason for which he found it impossi- 
ble to discover. 

Uneasy for a time at the favor with which Jack JPdams seemed to 
be regarded by Miss Nelly, he had long ago recovered from his jealous 
fancies and had ceased to see a rival in his colleague. Still less would 
he have suspected him of base envy. He had always considered Jack 
Adams as his devoted friend, and continued to esteem him as such. 

Man is ingenious in tormenting himself. Cornill^ came to think 
that his betrothed had already been engaged to some one in England, 
and that, for this reason. Badger did not wish to divulge her engage- 
ment with another. He spoke of it to Miss Nelly, who assured him 
that her heart had always been free, and that she had never been en- 
gaged to any one. 

" My father simply wished to know whether you were capable of 
keeping a secret,'^ she sometimes said, laughingly. 

At bottom, she was only too well assured of the wisdom of his lord- 
ship's injunctions. 

She feared the terrible consequences of an open rivalry between the 
two young men as much as he — more than he, perhaps. Yet happi- 
ness makes blind, and Miss Nelly was yet in the age when hope in the 
future is strong enough to counterbalance and silence dismal presenti- 
ments. 

In spite of the uneasiness which this cause for anxiety gave her, 
the sentiment which predominated with her was the joy of knowing 
her life to be joined forever to that of Cornill6. 

What delightful projects for the future were exchanged with Fatma. 

" You will stay with us,'' said she to her companion, ^' you will see 
how happy I shall be with him." 

" Pshaw ! " replied Fatma, " when you are once married you will no 
longer care for my society." 

" You naughty girl. That is to say that it is you who will leave me 
to be married in your turn." 

" Oh ! as for that, I don't say no," replied the young girl, blushing. 

" There ! now I think of it, you will marry Jack Adama" 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 269 

" Never," cried Fatma, with an energy which surprised Miss Nelly. 

" Why ? Is he not young, handsome, amiable ? " 

" I don't like him," resumed Fatma. " It may be that he is good, 
but he has a hard look. He has the eyes of a harsh man ! I should 
be afraid of him if he were my husband. Oh ! I beg of you, my 
dear Nelly, do not think of making me marry him. I would die 
rather than become his wife." 

" Fear nothing, my dear Fatma," said Miss Nelly, embracing her, 
" I shall never be the one to advise you to marry any one whom you 
do not love. We shall try to find a husband for you who will please 
you better than Jack Adams." 

Thus the two young girls chatted. While the storm was rising 
above the horizon and threatening to engulf everything, the two weak 
creatures, full of faith in the future, slept in peace, peacefully and 
smiling. 





CHAPTER XIII. 



NEW CAUSES FOR ANXIETY. 



Cornill:6's fears seemed chimerical, for everything remained quiet 
during the months of June, July and August. The intense heat which 
reigned at this period considerably retarded the progress of the works. 
No European would have been able to bear an excessive fatigue with 
a temperature which often exceeded forty-five degrees centigrade. 
They worked only a few hours each day — in the morning at the rising 
of the sun, and in the evening at its setting. 

Jack Adams had taken the management of the construction of the 
railroad; Cornille continued to dig canals all around the future 
Babylon. 

Badger often inspected the works, taking Miss Nelly and Fatma 
with him. He allowed the young girls to go out alone only as little as 
possible. In order to avert Jack Adams' suspicions, and at the same 
time not to displease Cornill6, he was careful to visit the workyards 
of the canals one day and those of the railway the next. 

He hoped thus to gain time and to escape any ennui until the time 

(270) 



I 



I 



I 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 271 

of his return to London, which was to take place the following 
summer. 

The construction of the railway was a sight worthy of attracting 
attention. The embankments were executed by means of electricity. 
It was a question of digging up the ground in order to get earth out 
of it, which was then heaped up so as to form an embankment, on 
which the rails were laid. The railway was thus protected from the 
inundations of the Euphrates, the windings of which it followed. 

The machines serving for the extraction of the earth had already 
been in operation on the borders of the lake of Nedjef for digging a 
harbor. The powerful dynamo-electric motors received their move- 
ment by means of wires laid from the works of the Kasr to the point 
where the work was going on. 

But the most interesting was the laying of the rails. It was neces- 
sary to make use of the forge every moment, in order to rivet them 
and join rail to rail, so as to establish the electric communication 
from one end of the line to the other. Jack Adams had invented 
portable forges, with which he utilized the mixture of oxygen and 
hydrogen produced by the excess of electricity of the thermo-solar 
pile. 

It had been an easy matter. It is known that the mixture of oxygen 
and hydrogen, in the proportion of two liters of hydrogen for one liter 
of oxygen, gives, in burning, a heat capable of melting the most re- 
fractory metals, even platinum. 

Jack Adams therefore collected, in very strong cases, a certain por- 
tion of this mixture, compressed at a pressure of thirty atmospheres. 
These cases were then brought to the spot where the work was going 
on, and served to set the forges going. For that, it was simply neces- 
sary to cause the gaseous mixture to pass through a caoutchouc tube to 
blowpipes constructed in a peculiar manner. There, the mixture was 
ignited ; a long flame was thus obtained, which, in an instant, brought 
the thickest bars of iron to a temperature of white heat. 

We have just said that the mixture of oxygen and hydrogen was 
ignited at the end of the blowpipe. This was possible only on the 
condition of having a blowpipe specially constructed for this use. It 
will be seen why. 

When a mixture of oxygen and hydrogen is ignited, a fearful deto- 
nation takes place. If this mixture had, therefore, simply been lit at 



272 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

the end of the blowpipe, without taking any special precaution, the 
case which contained the gases would have been caused to burst. 

Fortunately, there is a means, already employed by Davy in his 
safety-lamp for miners, permitting the ignition of a detonating mix- 
ture at the end of a blowpipe, without at the same time causing the 
explosion of the whole mass. It is sufficient to insert, along the tube 
which brings in the gases, a great quantity of fine wJte-gauze of plati- 
num. Under these conditions, explosions are no longer to be feared : 
the fire cannot spread from the flame of the blowpipe to the explosive 
mixture contained in the reservoir. 

The works of the electric railroad advanced but very slowly. At 
the end of the month of August, no more than five miles of rails had 
as yet been laid. 

It was useless to hurry. They would have all winter to hasten the 
completion of the line. Besides, they were in want of rails, a new 
supply of which Avould not arrive until the beginning of autumn. 

Meanwhile, in the last days of the month of August, the events >)e- 
came grave again. The Arabs, very quiet until then, again showed 
hostile intentions. Every day emissaries arrived at Liberty, sent by 
the enemies of Badger's projects, who gained over the Arab laborers, 
inciting them to revolt or to desertion. The mutterings which arose 
increased each day. 

Badger lost patience at last. Nothing irritates intrepid men so much 
as these daily broils, which one feels must become dangerous in time, 
and against which one is disarmed. The brave man delights in find- 
ing himself fairly in the presence of danger. Having it before him, 
he fears it no longer and feels himself strong enough to brave it. 

Badger therefore resolved to hasten matters. He decided* to dis- 
charge the Arab laborers at the works, and to expel them also from 
Liberty and even from the precinct granted by the sultan on the site 
of Babylon. He would retain only the Europeans. 

The enemy would no longer be with him, it is true ; but it was to 
be expected that this hostile act would draw upon him the animosity 
of the Arab populations of the neighborhood. The peril would per- 
haps become greater ; but he would have the advantage of knowing 
exactly where the enemy was to be found and how he would have to 
fight him. Fortifications would be raised around Babylon, they would 
be armed with cannons, Turkish troops would be placed here, deter- 
mined to defend Badger's work. 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 273 

For this, they would have to come to an understanding with the 
authorities of Bagdad and of Constantinople. It was necessary to 
enter into negotiations which would require time and shrewdness. 
Badger called his companions together. He made known to them 
that he would leave for Bagdad that very evening. He would come 
to an understanding with the governor and return immediately after. 
He asked Laycock whether he would consent, in case it should become 
necessary, to proceed to Constantinople to see the sultan, so as to ob- 
tain all the indispensable authorizations. It is unnecessary to say that 
Laycock consented and held himself entirely at his lordship's com- 
mand. 

It was then the 2d of September. Badger left for Bagdad on the 
same evening, accompanied only by four trusty servants, courageous 
and capable of resisting an attack of plunderers. Mounted on excel- 
lent horses, they could easily, in two days, cover the distance which 
separates Babylon from the capital of Mesopotamia. Miss Nelly 
would gladly have accompanied her father, but that was impossible. 
Badger was obliged to double his stages ; at that period of the year 
the young girl would not have been able to stand so great a fatigue. 

The leave-taking between the father and the daughter did not take 
place without a certain emotion on both sides. Fortunately, Miss 
Nelly was still ignorant of the dangers which threatened them all ; 
otherwise her sorrow at seeing herself separated from her father would 
have been much greater. It was, therefore. Badger who was most 
deeply moved, but he took good care not to allow it to be seen. What 
was going to happen at Liberty during his absence? He recom- 
mended calmness and coolness. If anything serious happened, they 
should immediately telegraph to him at Bagdad. 

Three days after his departure, that is to say on the 5th, a despatch 
was received from Bagdad at eight o'clock in the evening ; his lord- 
ship announced that everything went well and that Captain Laycock 
was to hold himself in readiness to leave for Constantinople imme- 
diately after his return. Badger announced at the same time that he 
would leave Bagdad on the second day after and that he would arrive 
at Liberty on the 8th, during the night. 

Badger, in fact, needed the following day to see the governor again 
and to consult with the English consul. The English government 
would have to act at the court of the sultan in Constantinople and to 
18 



2^4 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

exert its influence to procure the necessary authorizations for his 

lordship. j j t» j 

Everything being finished and in a fair way at Bagdad, Badger 
retraced the road to Babylon on the day fixed by his telegram. He 
returned full of hope in the future and. believed that he was certain to 

overcome to advantage the ill-will 
of the natives ^d of the mara- 
bouts. The little band was but 
a few miles from Liberty, on the 
night of the 8th, when another 
party of several horsemen was 
perceived before it. Ignorant 
of the intentions of the new- 
comers, they cocked their car- 
bines and drew their revolvers. 

The two parties were now 
only twenty yards or so apart, 
when Badger heard a voice cry- 
ing out; "A friend! I am 
Captain Laycock." 

It was, in truth, the captain 
who had come forward to meet 
his lordship. 

"What is the matter?'' asked 
Badger, eagerly, when he was 
face to face with Laycock. 

" Bad news, my lord," replied 
the captain. " We have been in- 
formed from the works at Jezireh 
that the Kurds of the mountain 
have revolted, that they are de- 
scending in a body towards the 
Tigris and threatening to destroy our establishments." 

" Curse it ! " cried Badger. " The villains, not being able to hurt 
us at Liberty, now deal their blows at our hydraulic works on the 
upper Tigris ! " 

They made for Liberty at full gallop, reaching it an hour later. 
Immediately, and without taking a minute's rest. Badger placed 
himself in telegraphic communication with the manager of the works 




BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 275 

at Jezireh. The latter answered that there was nothing new, but that 
they were momentarily expecting the most serious events. He asked 
for help at the same time. 

Badger called his collaborators together. It was decided forthwith 
that Captain Laycock and Monaghan should leave immediately for the 
upper Tigris. Their arrival might, perhaps, save the works from a 
complete destruction. As to Captain Laycock, who was to go to Con- 
stantinople, he would proceed to that city after having pacified the 
revolted Kurds. 

Next morning the captain and the geologist took the road to Bag- 
dad. They were armed with his lordship's full authority and abun- 
dantly supplied with the sinews of war, that is to say, with gold. 

" I rely on you," said Badger to them, eifusively pressing the 
hands of Laycock and Monaghan. "Your mission is not without 
peril. Try to recall to reason the spirits misguided by superstition 
and ignorance. Do not oppose their beliefs, but prove to them that 
we are not enemies of God, but, on the contrary, advocates of 
progress." 

Alas ! Badger himself had not entire faith in the efficacy of these 
means. He felt clearly that humanity was not yet ripe for pacific 
progress, and that, for a long time to come, perhaps, it would still be 
necessary to impose it by force. 








CHAPTER XIV. 



JACK ADAMS. 



During the whole week there was — 
between Liberty and the upper Tigris — 
an incessant interchange of telegrams. 
The excitement continued among the populations of 
Kurdistan. The works were visited every moment by numerous bands 
of rebels. So far they had not attempted an attack by force of arms, 
and contented themselves with uttering threats. 

Badger had informed the managers of the works of the coming of 
Laycock and Monaghan. The chief point was to gain time ; to in- 
form the Kurdish chiefs who had promised their alliance, and, with 
their aid, to try to calm the most hot-headed fellows. The gold of 
Laycock and Monaghan would do the rest. 

It might, therefore, have been hoped that everything would soon be 
restored to order, if a new complication had not been added to all 
those of an already perilous situation. To the dangers from without 
internal discord was to be added. From this day on the hours of the 
existence of Badger's work were numbered. 
(276) 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



277 



The poor human being, in a great measure througli his own fault, 
no doubt, is so little accustomed on this earth to feel himself in pos- 
session of an unalloyed happiness, that, if such good fortune comes to 
him, he is always in great danger of allowing himself to be found out, 
whatever interest he may have in concealing his precious secret. In 
spite of the eiforts which he makes to be lost in the crowd, a happy 
man does not resemble other men — a naive satisfaction with himself 
and with others, a general benevolence and optimism form a sort of 
halo for him which betrays him without his suspecting it. If the 
heedless eyes of an indifferent person are rarely mistaken in these 
symptoms, how is it with the envious look, constantly on the alert, of 
a jealous and proud rival ? 

At his rival's air of satisfaction, even in the midst of the anxieties 
to which he was a prey ; at the radiance of happiness which trans- 
figured Miss Nelly, Jack Adams could not long deceive himself, and 
he soon arrived at the conviction that the two young people had 
mutually pledged their faith. 

In the paroxysm of excitement and rage into which this discovery 
threw him, he resolved not to content himself with suspicion, and to 
have, as we say, his mind clear about it. Quite full of this idea, he 
proceeded one afternoon to Badger's dwelling, fully decided to demand 
an explanation of him. 

As he advanced, however, the uselessness and even the ridiculous- 
ness of his proceeding gradually appeared to him. Exact an ex- 
planation of his lordship ? to what purpose ? Express his resentment 
to him ? by what right ? Had not Badger and Miss Nelly acted in 
the fulness of their liberty ? Had there ever been any promise ex- 
changed between the young girl and him ? 

What was to be done, therefore? He wanted to challenge his 
rival ; fight with him and kill him. He wanted to stab Miss Nelly. 
He wanted ... all that a man wants who is blinded by rage, that is 
to say, that he did not know exactly what himself He no longer 
thought, he was out of his senses. 

Exposed to the tumult of a thousand conflicting passions, he was 
prowling like a wild beast around Badger's house, with haggard look 
and discomposed countenance, when he saw Fatma come out alone and 
proceed to the right, as if to go towards the Kasr. 

In his present state of mind nothing was more apt to exasperate 
Jack Adams, for he did not doubt for a single instant that Fatma was 



278 BABYLON ELECTEIFIED. 

commissioned to take a message to Cornille from her mistress. He 
restrained himself, however, and, trying to set on a calm face, he ac- 
costed the young girl. 

" Young lady,'' he said to her, " I have serious matters to talk 
about with you. We are alone here ; nobody can hear us. It concerns 
Miss Nelly." 

" I am listening to you, sir," replied Fatma. • 

" Is your mistress betrothed to Cornille ? " asked the engineer. 

On hearing these -words Fatma coidd not help trembling. But, re- 
covering herself, as if the most simple matter in the ^vorld had been 
in question : 

"You think so?" said she. "Well ! in what way does that con- 
cern you ? Has not Miss Nelly the right to be betrothed to whom she 
likes?" 

" Wretch ! " cried Jack Adams, violently seizing the young girl's 
wrists, " then you don't know that I love your mistress, and that if 
she marries Cornille I shall kill them both ! " 

"Let me go," said Fatma, whom this sudden rage frightened. 
" Let me go ; you hurt me." 

"Answer me," continued Jack Adams, beside himself, " is your mis- 
tress the fioncee of Cornille ; yes or no ? " 

" I know nothing about it." 

" You lie, your mistress conceals nothing from you." 

" Mr. Jack Adams," replied the young girl, who had succeeded in 
freeing herself from the engineer's grasp, " if she whom it pleases you 
to call my mistress, and who treats me like a sister, hides nothing 
from me, not even her most inward secrets, it is, no doubt, because 
she has absolute confidence in me, and it is not you, a gentleman, who 
would want to force me to betray this confidence." 

When he heard himself thus recalled to self-respect and to a sense 
of honor by this maiden who stood before him, Jack Adams could not 
help himself from a profound feeling of shame ; it ^vanted but little, 
and, liiding his face in his hands, he would have fled far, very far 
away from every evil temptation. But ever since he yielded to the 
perverse instincts of his nature, his conscience lost more each day. 

" I am not here to listen to moral dissertations," sneered he ; " it is 
immaterial to me to be a gentleman or not to be one. I am descended 
from a violent and vindictive race. I have sworn revenge, I shall re- 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 279 

venge myself. I shall be up there quicker than you, and if I find 
Cornille, woe to him ! . . . I shall kill him ! " 

" You will not do that/' said Fatma, who, believing the engineer to 
be, on the contrary, capable of anything in the state of exasperation in 
which he found himself, was determined to pacify him at any price. 

" No, you will not do that," she continued in an entreating tone, 
drawing nearer. " Cornille is your friend, and he would be prepared 
to face the most cruel death, for his part, in order to save you from no 
matter what danger. Miss Nelly loves him, you say ? Let us admit 
that this is true, since you think so. But, Miss Nelly is not alone 
here, I am also pretty, and ... I love you ! " 

" You love me, you, Fatma ? " exclaimed Jack Adams, overwhelmed 
with surprise. 

" Yes," replied the poor girl, in an almost faltering voice. " But 
. . . you made me afraid and I did not dare to tell it to you. You 
gave me much pain, I assure you, when you occupied yourself inces- 
santly with Miss Nelly without pretending to notice me. And . . . 
just now, again . . . Avhen you told me that you loved her. . . . Ah ! 
now I understand jealousy myself, too." 

" Do you speak the truth, Fatma," continued Jack Adams in a low 
voice, " is this not a generous falsehood in behalf of her whom you 
call your sister ? " 

" To prove to you tliat I speak the truth, ask my hand of Lord 
Badger to-morrow, this very evening, when you wish. . . ." 

Choked by her emotion, the young girl staggered and seemed about 
to faint. 

" Fatma ! " cried Jack Adams, supporting her. " Yes, you are 
handsome and you also deserve to be loved." 

" Now, leave me," the young girl suddenly said, disengaging herself. 
" I hear some one . . ." 

^^Au revoirj Fatma ! " 

Uncertain, agitated in spite of himself by what had just taken place. 
Jack Adams descended to Liberty again, while Fatma went towards 
Babel. 

As soon as she knew herself to be alone, the poor thing sat down on 
a bank of grass, and, pressing both hands upon her heart, as if to pre- 
vent it from bursting, she said to herself that it was ended, endc^. 
Ended her happiness and the pleasant dreams of the future. She 
would be the wife of Jack Adams, whom she did not love, and who 



28a BABYLON ELECTEIFIED. 

loved another. And yet, she would be a faithful wife to him. She 
would strive to make him better. 

Fatma^s devotion was all the more heroic, as Jack Adams inspired 
her with a veritable terror. But, with somewhat savage natures, 
gratitude — so rare with the civilized — is an absolute, almost religious 
sentiment, from which any sacrifices may be expected. Without any 
hesitation, without a look backward, Fatma had invented this gener- 
ous subterfuge : to protect the happiness of her benefactress, she had 
immolated her heart by offering her hand to the man whom she ab- 
horred, just as, to save her life, she had, but a few months previously, 
thrown herself before the monster ready to devour her. 





CHAPTER Xy. 



5;«tg DESTRUCTION OF THE HYDRAULIC 
WORKS. 



^Mf'£^ Two days after the secret drama 
uri-i*/' which we have just related, and which 
had no other witnesses than its own 
actors, alarming telegrams were re- 
ceived from the upper Tigris. ,The 
Kurds, hesitating until then, showed 
themselves more and more hostile to the Europeans. The chiefs with 
whom Badger had made alliance at Julamerk, on the Greater Zab, 
were unable to restrain the fanatical populations. Numerous emissa- 
ries, come from the south of Mesopotamia, preached the destruction of 
the sacrilegious works of the infidels. 

The patriarch of the Chaldeans, at Elkosh, had tried in vain to in- 

(281) 



282 BABYLON ELECTEIFIED. 

tervene. His efforts had proved powerless before a hostility which 
nothing could any longer suppress. 

Badger despaired. Laycock and Monaghan, gone only a week ago, 
could not reach Jezireh before a month. Would they arrive before the 
commencement of hostilities? Would not everything be already 
destroyed ? 

What exasperated his lordship and his companioflte most was the 
consciousness of their powerlessness. As if by an irony of fate, they 
almost came to curse this science which permitted them to be informed, 
hour by hour, of the events which hurried along and brought on their 
ruin, while they found themselves confronted by the impossibility of 
remedying it. 

" Science is still very incomplete," exclaimed Cornill^ in despair. 
" Why are there not means of transport which abolish distance as the 
telegraph abolishes time ! " 

The 20th of September was an unlucky date. It was learned that 
day that the telegraphic communication was interrupted between the 
works of Bodia and those of Jezireh. 

The emotion felt at Liberty on receipt of this telegram will be un- 
derstood. Badger immediately asked for the cause of this rupture. 

'^ We do not know. No news received from Bodia and Egil before the 
breaking of the icireJ^ 

Such was the laconic reply of the manager of the works at Jezireh. 

Alas ! this reply was sufficiently clear. The works at Bodia had 
been attacked unawares by the Kurds, and the telegraphic wire cut. 

Two long days passed in the most painful expectation. At Jezireh 
they were still in ignorance as to the fate of the inhabitants of Bodia 
and Egil. 

At last, on the morning of the 2 2d, the following telegram was 
received : 

*^ Managers and workmen of Bodia arrive safe and sound at Schebleh. 
Works completely destroyed. Kurds have designs only upon the build- 
ings j not upon the persons J^ 

Thus the fears were confirmed ; the Kurds were beginning to put 
their threats into execution. Fortunately, until now no loss of any 
human lives was to be deplored. 

Badger breathed more freely. " The works can be rebuilt," said he 
to his companions ; " they can be made finer than they were, but life 
cannot be restored to a dead man." 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 283 

It was probable that the works at Egil had met the same fate as 
those of Bodia ; but, on account of the distance which required a three 
days' journey, they were not certain of it until a few days later. 

Badger had still a gleam of hope. *' It is possible,'' said he to liis 
daughter and to Cornille, who seldom left him, no more the one than 
the other, during these terrible days, " it is possible that the Kurds, 
satisfied with their revenge, stop at Bodia and return to their moun- 
tains. The works of Schebleh and Jezireh will then be spared." 



<«-- ,-'.>Sk 




" I do not think so," replied Cornille, witii sadness. " The one that 
directs the Kurds must be hostile to us to the death. Be convinced, 
therefore, that he will not stop half-way." 

" Let us hope that the captain and Monaghan will arrive in time," 
said Badger. 

He had no more than finished his sentence when the bell of the 
telegraph rang. They rushed towards the apparatus. 

" Works of Schebleh on fire.^^ 

A sentence which, in its brevity, expressed a great deal. 

Cornille was right. The enemy continued his work of destruction 
without intermission. Descending the course of the Tigris, he burned 
everything on his way. 



284 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

A profoundly sorrowful sight was then beheld. Badger, this man 
of so manly an energy, of an inflexible will, Badger wept. Before the 
destruction of his work, before the ruin of his hopes, this strong spirit 
had a moment of weakness. 

Cornill^, no less moved, respected this deep sorrow. At this solemn 
hour, every word of consolation would have been out of place. Cor- 
nill6 was also touched in his most lawful ambitions ; like Badger, he 
was on the point of despairing of the future. 

Soon, overcoming his emotion, Badger went to the telegraphic ap- 
paratus and sent off this telegram : 

">Se< fire yourself to the works and to the dwellings of Jezireh, Wait 
for your comrades from Egil,from Bodia,from Schebleh; return all to^ 
gether to Bagdad, where I shall await you.'' 

" Why at Bagdad, and not at Liberty ? " asked Cornill6 with aston- 
ishment. 

^^ My dear Cornill4," said Badger, laying his hand firmly on the 
engineer's shoulder, " in a w^eek Liberty will no longer exist.'' 



I 




CHAPTER XYI. 



THE REVENGE. 

Fatma\s admirable devotion had, for a few days, brought a happy- 
diversion to the schemes for revenge which absorbed all the faculties 
of Jack Adams. 

The young Greek was, in truth, very handsome. Her beauty, more 
absolute, obtruded itself even more, at first sight, than that of Miss 
Nelly. Happily favored on the score of intellectual endowments, she 
was kind-hearted — every one knew it — even to entire forgetfulness of 
self. It was impossible that the voluntary confession of her love should 
not have made a vivid impression on a young man, inclined to extreme 
passions. 

But pride is the chief fault of the Englishman, as it is the chief 
weakness of England. If Cornille had not been in love with Lord 
Badger's daughter, or if only he had been an Englishman himself also, 
it is more than probable that Jack Adams — placed between two equally 

(285) 



286 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

C 



harming young girls— would have felt himself drawn by preference 
towards the young Greek. And it is a fact that Fatma— a few years 
younger than her companion, of a more pliant and malleable character, 
consequently, let us say the word, of a more contestable intellectual 
superiority — would have better answered the ideal which Jack Adams 
had formed of woman, than the proud Miss Nelly, who had the ex- 
travagant pretension of becoming the companion and the equal of her 
husband. 

It is also probable that if Jack Adams had acted differently he 
would have succeeded in gaining the love of the young Greek. The 
despotic and stern air which she found in him would not have been 
capable of frightening her long, accustomed as she was from her in- 
fancy to see woman accepting w^ithout a murmur her complete subjec- 
tion to her husband, and to recognize with a good grace the immense 
distance which separates them. The love of this man, apparently of 
such little tenderness, would have moved her and ... all would have 
been for the best, for everybody would have been satisfied. 

Unfortunately it was not thus that matters were to end. Since 
CornilM presumed to aspire to win the love of the mistress, how coiild 
Jack Adams demean himself so much as to think of the servant ! No, 
his honor and that of England were at stake, the victory must be dis- 
puted with the Frenchman and, finally, gained by himself. 

These sentiments of pride and of ambition, which, unknown, per- 
haps, to Jack Adams, had from the beginning had a greater part than 
real affection in his passion for Miss Nelly, now returned more vio- 
lently to the charge to whisper their detestable advice to him and 
cause him disdainfully to repulse the charming girl who had pledged 
her faith to him. 

Marry Fatma, a former slave, a girl picked up in the midst of a 
field, never ! It is true, Fatma was the adopted daughter of Badger, 
who, without doubt, would endow her richly. A further reason for 
not accepting her as a wife, for he would owe his fortune to Miss 
Nelly's father, who, no doubt, would consider him very happy, while 
he did not think he was doing too much for Cornille — the odious rival 
— in giving him the hand of his own daughter. He even reproached 
himself, as for an unworthy weakness, with having hesitated an instant 
when Fatma had come to offer him her hand. 

Everything seemed to conspire, moreover, to stir up the evil pas- 
sions which devoured Jack Adams' heart and to bring his hate against 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 287 

Corning to its height. So far it was always that part of the general 
work of which he had taken charge which was sacrificed— the works 
of the Persian Gulf, abandoned ; the works of the upper Tigris, de- 
stroyed by the Kurds, then burned by the orders of Badger himself. 

He had been the first to recognize the necessity of these sacrifices 
and to advise them. It was none the less true that it was Cornill6 who 
triumphed, that it was to him that the final victory belonged ; his, 
consequently, the hon- 
or and glory of the 
success, for the con- 
temporaries, as well as 
posterity, remember 
hardly anything but 
success. 

It was on tlie 22d 
of September that the 
destruction of the 
works on the upper 
Tigris was entirely 
consummated. After 
having sent his tele- 
gram, Badger had 
called together those 
of his companions who 
remained at Liberty ; 
lie informed them that 
he had himself given 
the order to burn the 
works of Jezireh. 

"And now/' asked he, "what remains for us to do?" 

" That will depend on our situation at Babylon,'^ said Cornill^, who 
was the first to speak. " If we can still count on a year of quiet 
here, nothing will prevent us from finishing our experiments. The 
destruction of the hydraulic works is certainly a great disaster for us ; 
but at the present time all our experiments as to the possible utiliza- 
tion of the waterfalls are finished and the results fully obtained. The 
important point to-day is to construct an electric railroad along the 
Euphrates, which places Babylon in communication with the Mediter- 
ranean and the Persian Gulf. Now, the thermo-electric piles will be 




288 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

fully sufficient. They will furnish us with enough electricity for 
working our railroad during the first period of the trials." 

" Always his pile ! " murmured Jack Adams, with an evil smile. 

" You are right, my dear Cornill^/' replied his lordship. " The 
whole question is, in fact, to know what our situation will be at Lib- 
erty. What will take place when the Arab workmen are informed of 
the revolt of the Kurds and the destruction of the works? I hope 
that the presence of the Turkish soldiers will suffice to keep them in 
awe. I am, besides, resolved to blow out the brains of the first one 
who will dare to threaten us." 

" How unfortunate that Captain Laycock and Monaghan are not 
here," said Jack Adams. 

" Yes," replied Badger. " I have sent a telegram to Bagdad to let 
them know of the events as soon as they arrive at Mosul and to tell 
them to return at once to Liberty, where their presence has become 
necessary." 

" They cannot be here until three weeks from now, at the earliest," 
remarked Cornill^. 

"And between this and then, what events may happen ! After all, 
gentlemen, the best is to trust in God and in our firmness. It is, per- 
haps, still possible to bring our enterprise to a good end. In the 
space of a year we can finish everything here and then return to Eng- 
land to prepare the final work. One never obtains one's object but 
at the price of long effi3rts and hard sacrifices. We have not had too 
much to complain of so far." 

" Assuredly not," replied Cornill^. " Our experiments have been 
satisfying in every respect. Whatever happens, we may be proud of 
the results obtained. We wanted to prove that the natural forces can 
be transformed into electricity, this electricity then conducted to a 
given point and adapted to all the daily uses. Very well ; I think 
that this principle is henceforth an established fact." 

" And all this has been done by you, gentlemen," said Badger, ad- 
dressing himself to Jack Adams and Cornille — " the one by bringing 
to Babylon the motive power of the falls of the Tigris, the other by 
seizing the power of the solar rays in the midst of the desert. You 
have deserved well of science and of humanity. When, later on. New 
Babylon will have reappeared on the ruins of the ancient, your names 
will be graven in letters of gold on a triumphal column, for you will 
have been its new founders." 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 289 

" You show too much modesty, my lord/' replied Cornille. " We 
have worked under your orders. It is you who have united in a 
single group so many separate minds. In union only there is strength. 
He who groups the different talents so as to cause a grand and durable 
work to spring from the common effort, he has more merit than the 
others, and his name will be famous and honored." 

" The conclusion of all this, my dear collaborators," said Badger, 
smiling, " is that each one of us, like the laborers of wliom the Gos- 
pel tells, has done all that is in his power to do, and, consequently, de- 
serves his reward. But, before loading ourselves mutually with 
eulogies, let us think of the difficulties of the present. When we 
shall have finally triumphed, we shall wait with patience to be crowned 
with laurels." 

"In that case," said Cornille, "we risk waiting a long time. 
Gratitude is a virtue that is very long in coming to men." 

" It never comes for contemporaries," said his lordship ; " too many 
prejudices stand in the way. To do good to men is to make an in- 
vestment at a long date. Fortunately, the true reward of having been 
useful to one's fellow-men does not depend upon the others. One in- 
herits oneself of the good which one has done, by the very satisfac- 
tion which one feels at it. To have formed part of the creative and 
beneficent spirit, is that not enough for a mortal ? " 

There was a moment of silence. 

" Enough of philosophy like that, gentlemen," said Badger, rising. 
" I perceive that nothing makes a philosopher of one so well as mis- 
fortune. Let each one return to his work. Let us have a reciprocal 
confidence in ourselves. Count on me as I count on each one and 
on all." 

All of those present came forward in turn to press the hand which 
Badger held out, and went out, taking away a little more confidence 
in the future. 

Cornille passed last. Badger gave him to understand that he wished 
to speak to him in private. 

" My poor friend," he said to him as soon as they were alone, " I 
want to speak frankly with you. I am afraid," continued he, in a 
grave tone ; " yes, afraid. It seems to me that we are on the very 
brink of our ruin." 

"Why, what is the matter, my lord? Just now you seemed to 
hope." 
19 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



"We are surrounded by implacable enemies who wish our ruin. 
Do not ask me where or who they are, I know nothing about it. If 
I knew it I should not be afraid. We have been struggling for some 
time in a net the meshes of which are drawn closer each moment.'^ 

"Does the danger not appear greater to you than it really is? It 
is far from here to the land of the Kurds. Here, the soldiers of the 

sultan protect us/' 

"Alas! I wash I were mis- 
taken; but I perceive certain 
signs which make me fear 
everything . . . Cornill^, I have 
a service to ask of you." 

" Whatever it may be, count 
on me." 

" If I die," continued Bad- 
ger, a prey to a strong emotion, 
" promise me to wateli over my 
daughter and to protect her." 

Then, going to his writing- 
desk and taking out oF it a 
sealed envelope which he 
— \ , ll^l-'^^^' '*" gave to Cornille : 

"This is my will," said he to him. "On your return to England, 
you will marry my Nelly, my dear child, the only being that ..." 

"My father, I implore you, leave these gloomy thoughts. Why 
speak already of your death ? Am I not here to defend you ? If 
you perish, be sure that I shall be dead first." 

" I forbid that," resumed Badger, warmly, drawing Cornille to his 
breast in a strong embrace. " You have not the right to die, is not 
my daughter your betrothed ? As for myself, I must be the first in 
the conflict which is near at hand. I am your leader, it is my duty to 
defend you." 

At this moment the bell rang violently. 
" Come in," said Badger, with great calmness. 
Blacton entered with a dismayed countenance : 
"All the Arabs are already acquainted with the destruction of the 
works on the Tigris," said he. 

" You see it, Cornille ! " cried Badger, " I was right in saying that 
there is a traitor amongst us. The watch-word was given in advance. 




BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 291 

The Kurds of Liberty know all about the revolt of the Kurds of the 
mountain. And what are the Arabs doing ? " added he, addressing 
Blacton. 

" They are unmoved and work as usual." 

"A bad sign. That is not natural. If they are quiet, it is because 
they are getting ready to act. But where seize their leader ?...'' 

Badger immediately called all his companions together again. He 
acquainted them with the news which Blacton had just brought him. 
Their astonishment was at its height. 

" This is inexplicable," exclaimed Jack Adams, " we are the only 
ones here to know Avhat has happened on the upper Tigris ; how do 
the Arabs know it already ? " 

" There are but two explanations possible," replied Badger, coldly, 
'' either there is a traitor amono: us ... " 

" No ! " cried all of those present with one voice. 

" I believe you, gentlemen," said Badger, relieved of a great weight, 
nevertheless, by the spontaneity of this protestation. "There is no 
traitor among us, but then there is, among the Arabs, a leader who 
conducts all. It is he who has stirred up the Kurds. I add that this 
traitor is here, for he alone can have informed the native workmeL of 
the destruction of our works." 

" This is but too evident," said Cornill6. 

" Gentlemen," continued Badger, " let us observe the greatest vigi- 
lance. Let the approaches to Babel and to the Kasr be guarded night 
and day by the soldiers. As to us, let each one be at his post, armed 
and ready to blow out the brains of the first one who revolts." 

The evening of this day of the 22d passed without incident. Every- 
thing remained perfectly quiet at Liberty and at the works. Nothing 
of the frequent going to and fro of the preceding days was observed. 

" It is the calm which precedes the tempest," repeated Lord Badger 
several times. 

For greater security, all the lamps were lit. As on the day of the 
inauguration of the electric lighting, one could see as well as in broad 
daylight at more than three miles from Liberty ; but how the senti- 
ments and the circumstances were changed ! No more brilliant caval- 
cades and motley crowds, no longer any women on the terraces and 
on the roads. Everywhere the dismal solitude. Instead of the joy 
of triumph, sadness and anxiety depicted on all faces. In the place 
of unreserved admiration and enthusiasm, defiance and threat lurking 



292 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

silently. Yet the lighthouse explored in vain all night the most 
remote corners of the town, of the Kasr, and of Babel, nothing un- 
usual was discovered. The Arabs slept more calmly than usual 
Next morning not a man was wanting. 

Ten o'clock had just struck. Badger and Jack Adams were walk- 
ing on the terrace of Babel. Babel had been chosen as a point of 
reunion and of defence, on account of the more elevated and more 
isolated position of the hillock. From the terrace, one overlooked 
Liberty and its environs. 

" By the bye," said Badger, suddenly, to his companion, " where can 
Comill6 and the two young girls have gone to? They w^ere here not 
a minute ago." 

" Oh ! you know," said Jack Adams, " that Cornill^ rather likes to 
isolate himself with Miss Nelly. They are, without doubt, cooing on 
one of the lower terraces." 

On hearing these unseemly words. Badger stopped suddenly. He 
was about to reply sharply, when an incident as sudden as it was un- 
foreseen prevented him from doing sc. 

A half-naked man had just crawled out from under the copi^er 
plates of the thermo-solar pile. With a single bound, he stood before 
Badger and Jack Adams. 

" The ravisher of Miss Ross ! " cried Badger. 
"I have sworn to revenge myself!" said the Kurd. "You Chris- 
tian dogs, you shall all die ! " 

It was indeed he, the ravisher of Miss Ross, this Kurd who had 
been wounded at the very moment when Flatnose fell, a victim to his 
courage. It was he whose face had expressed so much hate when — 
at the time of the revolt of the native laborers — he came out of the 
office where Badger, not having recognized him then, had just granted 
him the permission to re-enter the works. 

At this unexpected apparition, a terrible light broke in on the mind 
of Jack Adams. 

" I alone am the true culprit," cried he, taking his pistol in his hand 
and rushing at the Kurd ; " this wretch has overheard my senseless 
threats, he must die only by my hand." 

In order to understand the meaning of these words, it is necessary 
to go back a little. 

It will be remembered that, on the day before, Badger had called 
his collaborators together twice in the same day. On leaving the first 



I 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 293 

of these sittings, in which the abandonment of the hydraulic works 
had been unanimously decided upon as an absolutely necessary sacri- 
fice, Jack Adams, a prey to an agitation impossible to describe, had 
gone into the hall of the accumulators on the Kasr. 

The blood boiled in his veins ; he strode through the spacious hall 
with long steps, seeing and hearing nothing around him. He mur- 
mured incoherent words, such as one may utter in the delirium of 
fever. The hate which he felt for Cornille now extended to all his 
companions and to Badger himself. 

^^ My works are destroyed ! . . . Curse it ! ... Cornille is a vil- 
lain. He has taken Miss Nelly^s heart away from me. No, he shall 
not marry her, I shall kill him first ! . . . The wretches ! They have 
destroyed my work . . . And this Cornille who is victorious. His 
pile acts continually, for him ... to think that it would suffice to hold 
a match to the cock which stops this reservoir in order to destroy 
everything . . . yes, a match would cause the mixture of oxygen and 
hydrogen to detonate, and a few seconds after, everything here would 
only be ruins and rubbish ! . . . Cause all of those who have despised 
me and made game of me to die at one stroke ! . . . Oh ! what a hor- 
rible temptation ! . . . But then, why has Cornille been in my way ? . . . ^' 

Jack Adams was so absorbed in his thoughts, that he did not notice 
that some one had been watching him for several moments. An Arab 
had hid himself among the accumulators. He listened to the incohe- 
rent words which the engineer uttered in his irregular walk. 

At the moment when Jack Adams conjured the frightful catastrophe 
which would cause tlie detonation of the reservoir, a hideous smile of 
ferocious joy contracted the face of the Arab. He glided like a snake 
through the accumulators and disappeared. 

It was he who, springing up suddenly, had just uttered threats of 
death. At sight of him, at his unambiguous words. Jack Adams had 
understood all. 

The wretch was hidden there, during his insane monologue, and it 
was he who undertook to commit the crime. Meanwhile Badger, 
petrified by the words which Jack Adams had uttered in springing at 
the Kurd, remained immovable as a statue. 

This scene, however, had not lasted ten seconds. 

The Kurd, as quick as lightning, proceeded at a run towards the 
reservoir of oxygen and hydrogen. 

Jack Adams pursued him, trying to plunge his poniard into his 



294 



BABYLON ELECTEIFIED. 



body ; then, seeing that he would escape him, he discharged the cham- 
bers of his revolver in quick succession in the direction of the fugitive. 

At the last shot, the Kurd fell to the ground, covered with blood, 
and rolled to the foot of the receiver. Then, making a supreme effort 
and uttering a terrible cry, he bounded to the cock, which he opened. 

Jack Adams, understanding the intention of the wretch, threw him- 
self on the Kurd ; but, at the moment when he stooped down to seize 
him, the latter, with a kick in the chest, sent him rolling ten steps 
before him, then, having opened the cock, he lit a match, and held it 
to the gas which was escaping with violence . . . 




i 




CHAPTER XVII. 



RUIN AND DESOLATION. 



A FEARP'UL detonation rent the air. It seemed as if a hundred 
thunder-bolts had fallen on Babel at the same instant. 

Liglitning itself, moreover, could not have caused greater havoc 
than this explosion of over thirty-five thousand cubic feet of a mix- 
ture of oxygen and hydrogen at a pressure of thirty atmospheres. 

Cornill^ and the two young girls, who were chatting on a lower 
terrace, were far from suspecting what a terrible drama was unfolding 
itself above them. For a long while. Miss Nelly had no longer de- 
ceived herself as to the gravity of the situation. Knowing her to be 
strong and courageous, neither her father nor her betrothed had tried 
to lull her into a delusive security. Since misfortune was to come, it 

(295) 



296 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

was better that she should be prepared for it. They themselves, how- 
ever, could not suspect to what frightful extremes this misfortune was 
to go. Fatma, preyed upon by a keen anguish which she could not, 
which she would not confide to any one, had fallen into a gloomy 
melancholy, which she strove in vain to conceal from her brother and 
her sister, as she called the two young people. The latter, uneasy at 
this so sudden a change, tried to make the smile appear again on her 
lips, to open this young soul anew to the pleasant prospects of the 
future. 

"You think I am uneasy as to my fate?" replied she, sadly 
shaking her head. " You are mistaken : provided that you are happy 
and that no misfortune happens to you, what does it matter to me what 
befalls me ! I know well enough I am not born to be happy." 

Astonished at these strange words and at the tone in which they 
were spoken, the two lovers were about to protest, when the sound of 
the two shots fired by Jack Adams showed that something unusual 
was taking place near by. 

" My God ! " cried Nelly, trembling all over, " what is happening 
up there ? Let us run to my father's assistance ! " 

All three of them rushed towards the stair-case which led to the 
up})er terrace, but, at the very moment when they were about to reach 
the first step, the explosion took place. 

A light more intense than that of day illumined them. At the 
same instant a frightful noise resounded, and a violent concussion 
threw them down. The entire wall of bricks, which supported Babel,, 
had oscillated on its foundations as in a violent earthquake. 

They rose up again immediately. 

A death-like silence succeeded the explosion. They rushed up the 
stair-case and arrived on the platform. 

It would be impossible to describe the appearance of this plateau. 
Of the thermo-electric pile, nothing remained but shapeless fragments,, 
scattered in all directions. The plates of copper, twisted by the action 
of the explosion, lay on the ground in the most frightful confusion. 

At any other time the destruction of his pile would have wrung 
cries of anguish from Cornill^. Under the present circumstances he 
did not even take heed of it. What had become of his lordship and 
Jack Adams? 

The engineer. Miss Nelly and Fatma proceeded to the spot where 
they had left their companions a quarter of an hour before. 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 297 

" My God ! my God ! " cried Miss Nelly, no longer perceiving any 
one, " my father is dead ; he has been killed by the explosion ! " 

" Nelly, my dear Nelly, have courage,'' said Cornille, supporting the 
young girl, who was at the point of fainting away. *^Stay here, I 
implore you ; I shall continue the search." 

Then, leaving his betrothed in Fatma's care, he explored the ter- 
race in all directions. Not seeing any one, he ran towards the receiver, 
supposing that his companions were standing there at the time of the 
explosion. 

In fact, he perceived a horribly mutilated body, in which, however, 
one could still recognize Jack Adams ; the face had been better pre- 
served than the rest of the body. It is probable that, in his fall, the 
engineer had rolled under a copper plate and his head had escaped 
contact with the flame. 

As Jack iVdams was already a corpse, it was useless to try to render 
him assistance. Cornille laid his pitiful remains along the wall. 

Had Badger shared Jack Adams' fate ? Cornille examined the sur- 
roundings of the receiver Avith his glances ; he saw nothing. He was 
about to continue his search under a large heap of rubbish, when a 
great clamor arose below him. He rushed toward the parapet. He 
then had before his eyes a spectacle worthy of hell. The Arabs — 
completely revolted — had set fire to Liberty. The Avhole town was in 
flames, and the madmen, dancing and howling with joy, continued to 
spread the conflagration with torches. Unmoved, supporting arms, 
the soldiers of the sultan let them have their way. 

Cornille turned away his head. That which he saw exceeded the 
preceding horrors. The Kasr, in its turn, began to burn. From the 
top to the bottom of the works there was only a cloud of black smoke 
which rose towards the sky like a long column. 

At this moment Miss Nelly entirely regahied consciousness. At 
any price, the young girl had to be taken away from this scene of 
terror. 

She rose with a bound and darted toward Cornille. The flames, 
succeeding the smoke, formed an immense wreath of fire around the 
Kasr. Miss Nelly, her hands contracted, her eyes fixed, silently 
gazed on this gigantic brazier. Her mouth could not articulate any 
sound. Then, suddenly, she rushed towards CornilM, crying : 

" My father ! Where is my father ? " 

Cornille, his heart rent by so many emotions, no longer hoped to 



298 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

find Badger alive; paralyzed at the sight of so much ruin, he re- 
mained immovable and as if petrified. 

"My father! Where is my father?'' repeated Miss Nelly, sob- 

bing/'' 

"I have not found him yet/V replied Cornille. "Come with me, 

Nelly.'' 

They proceeded together towards the spot where Cornille had in- 
tended to search when the clamor had begun. It was evident that the 
force of the explosion had been specially directed toward this 
quarter. 

There everything was broken and twisted. 

Cornille raised up several plates. He could then perceive a new 
corpse, crushed beneath the weight of the fragments of the pile. In 
a few minutes, aided in this sinister w^ork by the two young girls, he 
succeeded in extricating the body. Alas ! this could be no other than 
the corpse of Badger. This other victim of the explosion was com- 
pletely unrecognizable. Entirely charred, nothing was left of the 
features of the face. 

Miss Nelly, a prey to a terrible nervous convulsion, threw herself 
on the corpse and clasped it in her arms. 

" My father ! my poor father ! " the unfortunate girl repeated again 
and again. 

Suddenly a plaintive moan was heard at a few yards to the right. 

Miss Nelly and Cornille rose with a bound. At this moment a 
second moan was distinctly heard, more prolonged than the first. 

Cornille hurried to the spot from whence the groan had arisen. At 
the moment when he arrived there a plate of copper was seen to rise 
up ; an arm, finally a head, appeared. 

" Nelly ! Cornille ! " cried a well-known voice, " where are you ? " 

There was no mistake about it ; it was, indeed, the voice of Badger, 
but of an unrecognizable Badger. 

His hair and beard were burned ; his clothes had been half torn off 
by the violence of the explosion. 

" My father ! it is my father ! " cried Miss Nelly, passing from the 
profoundest despair to the most intense joy. 

Then, succumbing to this new emotion, the young girl lost con- 
sciousness a second time. 

" Here I am, my lord," cried Cornille, at the same time unable to 
believe his eyes and thinking himself the plaything of a dream. 



BABYLON ELECTEIFIED. 299 

It must not be forgotten that Cornill^ and the young girls were ig- 
norant of the presence of a third person at the time of the catastrophe. 
They, therefore, believed that they had found the corpses of Jack 
Adams and Badger. Inreality, the second was none other than that of 
the Kurd, who, nearest to the flame, had been most completely 
charred. 

As to his lordship, it was only by a miracle that he had escaped 
death. The flame, reaching the spot where he stood, had produced its 
effect, but with a relatively slight intensity. It is certain that the 




fragments of the pile, of an enormous weight and hurled in all direc- 
tions with a terrific force, might have struck him, and crushed him a 
thousand times. 

"AYhere are you hurt, my lord?" asked Cornill6. 

" I do not feel any pain," replied Badger, feeling himself, " but I 
am blinded. I fear that the flame has burned my eyes." 

Five minutes after, his lordship, his daughter, Cornill4 and Fatma 
were collected on the side of the terrace, in a spot free from debris. 
Miss Nelly, hanging on her father's neck, would not leave him any 
more. 

Suddenly another explosion was heard. An immense sheaf of 



300 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



flames sprang up on the summit of the Kasr, and charred fragments 
fell even on the platform of Babel. 

" What has happened ? '^ cried Badger. 

" My lord/' replied Cornille, " it is the petroleum reservoirs of the 
Kasr which have just taken fire. Now, it is ended ; there is no longer 
any Liberty, nor a Kasr, nor a Babel. Our ruin is consummated ! '^ 





CHAPTER XVIII. 



A YEAR AFTER. 



A YEAR has elapsed since the events which we have just described 
in rough outlines. We are once more in London, at Lord Badger's. 

" Good-morning, father ; how are you to-day ? " 

" Well ; thank you, Cornill^," replies Badger to him who has become 
his son six months ago. 

At the same instant, a young woman enters the room, in whom we 
easily recognize the Miss Nelly of old. Still as lovely as ever, her 
beauty has perfected itself by the certain something of calmness and 
seriousness which is given by the possession of happiness really worthy 
of this name. 

" What has the doctor said to you to-day, father ? " said she, kissing 
Badger on both cheeks. 

" That I shall be completely cured in a few months, my dear Nelly. 
I see better day by day. He has still forbidden me to read to-day, 
but he has given me the assurance that I shall be able to resume my 
usual occupations in a month or two ... By the bye, my children,'' 
continued Badger, " I have received a long letter this morning from 
Captain Lay cock.'' 

'^And what does he say, this honest Laycock?'* 

(301) 



302 BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 

" Read it yourself," said his lordship, presenting a letter to Cornill^. 
" The captain is at this moment at Bassorah, on the Persian Gulf." 
Cornill^ took the letter and read the following : 

" My dear lord, 

" I have returned this moment from Babylon with the Electricity. You had ordered 
me to collect the last fragments of the machines of the Kasr and of Babel. 

" Alas! tliere are no destroyers comparable to these people of Mesopotamia. When I 
arrived at the site of that which had been Liberty, I found only th^desert, silent as on 
the day of our arrival. 

"The Kasr and Babel no longer show any trace «jf our presence. After the confla- 
gration, the multitude of plunderers carried oflf everything, even to the smallest particle 
of wood and of iron. It would be impossible to-day, even for a new Grimmitschoffer, 
to find the framework of one of your machines among the bricks. 

" I have therefore come back with empty hands. Of our expedition to Babylon, 
nothing is left but the remembrance, every material trace having totally disappeared. 

"The elements themselves have desired to interfere. A typhoon, of a violence rare 
in these countries, has raised up mountains ot sand and filled up the canals which 
CornilM had dug so laboriously " 

" This letter is distressing," said the engineer. " It shows that na- 
ture, with the aid of man, has very quickly destroyed, that which we 
had so much trouble in establishing." 

" That is true," replied Badger, calmly. " But it proves also that 
we have been imprudent." 

"How so?" asked Cornill6. 

" We have relied too much on our strength, my dear Cornill^," re- 
plied his lordship. " We have been wrong in not taking sufficiently 
into consideration the hostility of the oriental nations towards every- 
thing that concerns the Occident." 

" Our efforts have nevertheless not been fruitless," said Cornille, at 
the end of a few moments of silence. 

" Most assuredly not," replied his lordship. " They have shown us 
which was the true road to follow. Then, we have been able to eluci- 
date several questions not yet solved in practice. We have had, above 
all, the merit of working on a large scale, of making, on great spaces, 
experiments hitherto confined to separate laboratories or works." 

" Have you still the intention of continuing the reconstitution of 
Babylon by means of electricity ? " 

" Always," replied Badger. " As soon as I shall have completely 
recovered my sight, I shall begin measures to form a powerful asso- 
ciation." 

" Do you think that you will gain your end rapidly ? " 

" I know nothing about it, my dear Cornill6 ; it will perhaps still 
require several years. But I count very much on the events to hasten 
the solution of my project. Public opinion in England is over- 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 303 

excited against the invasion of the Russians in Asia. A powerful 
colony, established on the banks of the Euphrates and the Tigris, 
would alone be able to uphold our influence in India." 

" Your hands are, besides, all ready," said Cornill^ ; " our mana- 
gers and workmen of the works of the upper Tigris and of Babylon 
w411 form an excellent nucleus for the future enterprise. It is truly 
fortunate that in the midst of our disaster we have not lost a single 
European. These fanatics decidedly had designs only on our work 
and not at all on our lives ; but what a strange animosity against all 
progress come from the west ! " 

"All the more strange," said Lord Badger, "as these fanatics of to- 
day were our first instructors. Our ancestors of prehistoric times were 
but miserable savages, so long as the sacred spark had not been brought 
to them from the east. Later on, when the ancient nations had suc- 
cumbed under the weight of the invasions from the north, a last oiFen- 
sive return of barbarity, did not these Arabs, to-day so rebellious 
against all progress, succeed in founding a wonderful empire where all 
the arts and sciences were held in honor ? Amid the darkness of the 
Middle Ages, at that time when the last vestiges of the Greek and 
Latin civilizations were preserved with great difficulty in the monas- 
teries, at times with more zeal than discrimination, did they not con- 
tribute greatly towards transmitting to us this precious legacy of 
antiquity? Were they not the first commentators of Archimedes, of 
Euclid, of Apollonius and of Ptolemy? Is it not to them, to their 
schools, that we are in a great measure indebted for having seen the 
spirit of discoveries and of inventions perpetuated in humanity? 

" To-day, Europe has a duty of filial piety, of gratitude, to fulfil 
towards her old mother, Asia : she must tear her from her morbid 
torpor, bring back to her the torch which she has received from her. 
She must share with her the gifts which belong to her genius, the spirit 
of deduction and analysis, the application to work, the manly courage, 
the perseverance which triumphs over all obstacles. 

" In this arduous task, where our most dangerous adversaries are 
precisely those w^ho should rejoice most at our successes, let us take for 
our watch-word the motto of the youngest of the nations of European 
origin, of the one which, situated at the very extremity of the west, has 
moved forward so rapidly in the road of progress that in hardly a 
century it has outstripped its elders: ^ Go ahead J Forward, always 
and everywhere. Our first eiforts must not remain unprofitable, if for 



304 



BABYLON ELECTRIFIED. 



US, at least not for our successors. We must not abandon a work in 
which the first triak justify the greatest expectations. We must, on 
the contrary, persist in and renew our efforts, in order that one day 
the countries which have been the cradle of mankind may witness, on 
the ruins of Assyrian Babylon, the final and complete resurrection of 
Babylon electrified ! " 




I 



^JULY, 1889^ 



1^ # 




Descriptive Catalogue 



OF THE NEW 



publication^ and Irapoi'tation? 



of 



Qebbie; 5^ G©mp(amg. 




PHILADELPHIA: 
GEBBIE 8t COMPflflV, 

900 Chestnut Street. 






■X.^^^^'^^K^^ 



In presentiDg our Catalogue for the Fall of 1889, we respectfully 
announce that in addition to our New Publications there will be found 
quite a number of Books specially Imported by us for the American 
Market. 

In regard to both the selection and manufacture of the New Books, 
we believe they will be found worthy companions of those we commenced 
with last year, which, we are pleased to say, met with such gratifying 
approval from the trade. 

It will be our endeavor to develop a line for ourselves both 
original and novel, and at the same time make a class of books that will 
be superior both in selection and manufacture. 



-^^^^^<^^^ 



CATALOGUE 

OF THE 

New Publications s^Mmportations 

OF 

GbBBIB ^ (©OMPANY5 

900 CHESTNUT ST., PHILADELPHIA. 



Addison's Complete Works, including Poems, Dramas, 

And Essays from the Spectator, Tatler and Guardian. With portrait and 8 illus- 
trations, 6 vols., 12mo, Vellum cloth, leather labels and gilt top, (in box,) $10.50. 
Half calf, gilt, gilt top, (in box,) §16.50. 

\*This is the most complete edition of Addison's Works ever issued. It contains 
much new matter, and upwards of 100 Letters not before published. A very 
full Index (108 pages) is appended to the 6th vol. 

A'Kempis.— The Imitation of Christ: 

By Thomas a'Kp:mpis. A new translation. Elegant edition with artistic borders 
and 20 photogravure steel-plate illustrations, by the Gebbie & Husson Co., 
Limited, selected chiefly from the old masters in the Gallery of the Louvre. 
8vo, cloth, gilt extra, . |4.00. 

Or, in mor. extra, gilt edges, $5.00. 

\* The illustrations by the old masters are in the true spirit of holiness, and this 
beautiful ^ olume has l^een finished in such an artistic mauuer throughout that 
makes it in thorough unison with the character of this Christian Classic, which 
has had, next to the Bible itself, the largest number of readers of which Sacred 
literature, ancient or modern, can furnish an example. 

Apocryphal Books of the New Testament (The). 

Being the Gospels and Epistles used by the followers of Christ in the first three 
centuries after his death, and rejected by the Council of Nice, A. D. 325. Illus- 
trated with 32 engravings from ancient missals. 8vo, cloth, $1.25. 

Babylon Electrified. — The history of an Expedition un- 
dertaken to restore Ancient Babylon by the power of Electricity and how it 
resulted. By A. Bleunard, Doctor of Science. Translated by Fraxk Linstow 



GEBBIE AND COMPANY'S 



White. Profusely illustrated with original engravings, by Montadee, in one 
handsome volume, 8vo, cloth, gilt extra. $2.50. 

VThistranslation of a new author whose "Babylon Electrified" has had a large sale 
in Europe, may be best described as a Scientific Komance. There is a very inter- 
esting love story running through the narrative, but the most important feature of 
the work is, the marvel of applied electricity. At times the style reminds us 
of Jules Verne, but M. Bleunakd is not one who deals with impossibilities, 
but measures all his statements and results with scientific care ; his situations, 
nevertheless, are frequently marvellous, and will, w ithout Aoubt, open the eyes 
of many readers, in a pleasant way, to the results that mankind may soon 
expect from Electricity harnessed by Science. 

The plot is simple ; an English Baronet of fabulous wealth, an enthusiast in mat- 
ters of Science, undertakes, with the aid of two English Engineers, a French 
Electrician, and other scientists, to restore ancient Babylon, using electricity as 
the motive power. The most complete equipment, and an army of workmen, 
are shipped from London by ^\ay of the Suez Canal, to ascend the Euphrates to 
Babylon from the Persian Gulf, but Lord Badger and others of the travellers, 
landing at the mouth of the river Orontes, on the eastern shore of the Medi- 
terranean, take the route of the proposed Kailroad from the Mediterranean to 
the Persian Gulf, graphically describing the places of interest as they pro- 
ceed, Antioch, Aleppo, and after they embark on the river Euphrates, the 
commerce of the river and the rich character of the soil in the valley of the 
Euphrates, (passing the site of the Garden of Eden, ) with the manners and 
customs of the people — in the country and in its cities — Rakka, Deir, Anah, 
Jibbah, Hit, Butin and Hillah, (the modern name of Babylon,) besides the 
cities on the Tigris, Khorsabad, Bagdad, etc. In fine, this book although writ- 
ten to illustrate the accomplishments and j)OSsibilities of Electricit}- apijlied to 
Mechanics, is the best description of Modern Mesopotamia, (the original cradle 
of the human race,) ever given to the public. 

Bible Stories and Pictures. 

Three Hundred Bible Stories and Three Hundred Bible Pictures, being a pictorial 
Sunday Book for the Young, beautifully illustrated with 300 colored and other 
engravings. 12mo, cloth, gilt extra and colors, $1,25. 

\* This is a delightful volume that will always be an acceptable and profitable 
present to a Sunday School Scholar. 

Bunyan's Pilgrims Progress, from this world to that 

which is to come, with marginal references. Large type edition. Illustrated 
with Portrait and Forty illustrations by Sir John Gilbert, engraved by W. H. 
Whymper. Small 4to, cloth, gilt extra, red edges, $1.50. 



Burke.— The Complete Works of Edmund Burke, 

including the famous Speeches on the impeachment of Warren Hastings, with a 
General Index. 8 Vols., 12mo, Vellum cloth, leather labels and gilt top, (in 
box,) $14.00. 

Half calf, gilt, gilt top, (in box.) |22.00. 



PUBLICATIONS AND IMPORTATIONS. 5 

Burns. — The Works of Robert Burns. 

A new and complete edition, self-inierprethig, with copious notes and 60 new illus- 
trations on steel. 6 vols., 8vo, cloth extra, gilt, $18.00. 

Half calf, gilt, extra, $30.00. 

Edition de Luxe, plates on India paper, 6 vols., large 8vo, cloth, 

gilt top, $30.00. 

\*Oue of the principal features of this edition is, that it is prepared specially for 
English readers, the Scotcli words being glossed at the end of each line in the 
English translation, so that American readers can easily understand the whole. 

Extracts from Letter from Robert Clarke, Glendale, Cincinnati, 0., one of the best- 
known Burns Students and Collectors in the World. 

Cincinnati, January 15, 1888. 
George Gebbie, Esq. 

My Dear Sir : — I have had it in my mind ever since I received the sixth and 
completing volume of your grand edition of Burns, to (;ongratulate you on the 
very great success you have made of it. It is undoubtedly the best edition in 
every way ever produced. / make it now my reading copy, though I have many 
editions, all of the best ones. ****** Indeed, take the 
work as a whole, the editorial management of the work has been extremely judi- 
cious, and leaves nothing to be desired. You have profited fiiirlyand intelligently 
by the labors of previous editors, rejecting errors, and improving previous com- 
ments by a great deal of original investigation, which adds very much to the value 
of the work and makes it far the best reading edition. 

From General Wilson, New York. 
Dear Mr. Gebbie : 

I think I may safely say that your edition of Bums must be the final edition, 
and that nothing will be left for those who attempt to follow you. 

Extract from a Letter from Mr. Carnegie, January 23, 1888. 

Please retain half-dozen copies of Edition de Luxe Burns for me. I shall use 
them for presents to some Scotchmen dear to me on the other side. So glad to 
have America send them such a marvel. You have at last given mankind the 
edition of Bums' works upon which it (his fame) will rest. No other is ever likely 
to be required. That the land of Triumphant Democracy — of which Bums was 
the prophet poet — should give this to our and his native land, warms my heart 

with rejoicing. Yours always, 

Andrew Carnegie. 
Mr. Gebbie, Philadelphia. 



Columbus. — Christopher Columbus and the Discovery of 

the New World, by the Marquis de Belloy. Finely illustrated with 8 Etchings 
and Photogravures and fifty-one Engravings on wood, designed and engraAed by 
Leopold Flaming and others. In one handsome volume. 8vo, cloth, gilt 
extra, §3.25. 

*^* This work, published in Paris a few years ago, was written for the instruction 
and pleasure of his nephew, by the Marquis de Belloy. The book is in an easy 
and simple style, and when published, became so popular, that it immediately 



GEBBIB AND COMPANY'S 



took rank as one of the modern French Classics, and has since been translated 
into nearly even^ modem European language. Both historically and artisti- 
cally it has been pronounced the best history of the voyages of Columbus that 
has ever been produced. Published in its present popular form it is expected 
to have a largely increased demand. 

Comedians. Celebrated Comedians. Containing 12 char- 
acter portraits of eminent Comedians. Etchings, India prools, $5.00. 

1 Liston as " Paul Pry." 7 Jefferson as '' Eip Van Winkle." 

2 Hackett as " Falstaff." 8 Seymour as " The Admiral." 

3 Burton as "Toodles." 9 W. J. Florence as "Slote." 

4 John Drew as "Handy Andy." 10 John S. Clarke as "De Boots." 

5 John T. Raymond as "Colonel Sel- 11 Robson & Crane as "Two Drora- 

lers." ios." 

6 Sothern as " Lord Dundreary." 12 Ellen Terry as " Letitia Hardy." 

Orowquill. — (Alfred Henry Forrester) The Laughing Phi- 
losopher. In the Middle of the Nineteenth Century. Edited by Alfked Ceow- 
QUILL. With 140 illustrations, by Crowquill, Cruikshank and John Leech. 
12mo, cloth extra, $1.25, 



Rare fun and pleasant philosophy, treating of Medicine, Law, Smoking, 
Drinking, Sleeping, Marriage, Idleness, Racing, Oratory, Fighting, The Feelings,, 
Punning, etc. 

Dickens. — Character Sketches from Dickens. 

By F. Barnard. Containing 12 photogravures. India proofs, $5.00. 

1 Caleb Plummer 7 Mr. Micawber. 

2 The Two Wellers. 8 Captain Cuttle. 

3 Rogue Riderhood. 9 Miss Betsy Trotwood. 

4 Little Nell and her Grandfather. 10 Dick Swiveller and the Marchioness. 

5 Mr. Pecksniff. 11 Uriah Heep. 

6 Mr. Peggotty. 12 Bob Cratchet and Tinv Tim. 



Dog (The). Its Management and Diseases. 

By Prof. J. Woodroffe Hill. Illustrated with 10 photogravures and numerous 
wood engravings. New Edition Revised to date. 8vo, cloth extra, $3.00. 

*»*Thi8 Volume treats very fully and clearly of all the diseases of Dogs, and is now the ac- 
knowledged text book used in the Veterinary College of London, England, and other places. 

"A Bood work on the Dog was much required, and Mr. Hill has met the requirement. The 

directions for Management are ba'sed on sound principles The diseases 

of Dogs are well described, some maladies finding a place for the first time, while the treat- 
ment recommended is judicious and appropriate."— iance«. 

•• Wef have turned over the leaves of 'The Management and Diseases of the Dog,' with great 
care, and have come to the deliberate conclusion that the book is one of those invaluable 
gu-des which no owner of a dog who is concerned about the welfare of his pet should be 
vi\X\iO\xi:'— Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News. 



PCJBLIOATIONS AND IMPORTATIONS. 



Drama. — The Old Dramatists' Library, consisting of the 

Dramatic Works of Ben Johnson, 3 vols. Marlowe, 1 vol. Massinger, 1 
vol. Chapman, 1 vol., with memoir and notes, critical and explanatory, by 
GiFFORD, Cunningham and Swinburne. 6 vols., 12mo., half bound, gilt top, 
roxburghe, (inbox,) $12.00. 



Dumas (Alexander.) — The Lady with the Camellias. 

A new Translation. With a new prelace by the Author, embellished with thirty- 
nine photogravure illustrations by Albert Lynch. In one handsome volume. 
8vo, cloth, gilt extra, $3.75. 

\* Alexander Dumas' novel of "La Dame Aux Camelias," is well known as the 
subject of the Opera "La Traviata." Whilst the drama bearing the same 
name as the novel, was a great success on its first appearance in Paris, brought a 
fortune to its author, has been translated or remodelled in nearly every Euro- 
pean language, and is represented on nearly every stage of the civilized world. 

The novel, "The Lady with the Camellias," which has gone through many 
editions in French, is now for the first time presented in English with all the 
original illustrations, in a portable form and at a popular price. The numer- 
ous beautiful illustrations are faithfully reproduced by the Gebbie & Husson 
Photogravure Co., Limited, of Philadelphia. 



Francillon (R. E.) Romances of the Law: 

With a frontispiece by H. D. Friston. 12mo, cloth, extra, $L50. 

%* Tlie Twelve Tales comprised in the book bring out in broad relief the many peculiarities 
of the Engliirh Law, and are written in a highly entertaining manner, keeping the interest 
up from beginning to end. Such Tales as "Touch-and-go with a Great Estate," " A most 
Remarkable Will," "A Circumstantial Puzzle," "Only Ten Minutes," "Half a Minute 
Late," "A Cool Hand," "How I became a Murderer," are written with great power, and 
will be read with pleasure more than once. 

"For variety of incident, ingenuity of construction, and general literary excellence, these 
twelve 'romances' will fairly stand their ground against any recent collection."— G^asgoio 
Herald. 



Fielding's Works. — Consisting of Joseph Andrews, Tom 

Jones and Amelia. With Notes and Memoir by Tho3IAS Roscoe. Illustrated with 
the famous engravings by George Cruikshank. 4 vols., 12mo, Vellum cloth, 
leather labels and gilt top, (in box,) $7.00. 

Half calf, gilt, gilt top, (in box,) $11.00. 



Five Senses (The.) — Five etchings on Holland paper after 

Teniei-s, 5 Lichtdrucks after Hans Makart, and 5 photogravures by Goupil & Co., 
after Herman-Leo, Frappa and Chevilliard. Folio, cloth, gilt, $7.50. 



8 



GEBBIB AND COMPANY'S 



GEBBIE'S SELECT 



PORTFOLIOS OF 
AND ART. 



LITERATURE 



The Choice Works of Gerome.— Containing lo pho- 
togravures from his most celebrated paiutings. India proofs, $12.50. 

1 Phyme Before the Tribunal. 6 The Grey Cardinal. 

2 The Public Prayer. 7 The Gladiators. 

3 The Christian Martyrs. 8 The Wall of Solomon. 

4 Tlie Pkiin of Thebes. 9 The Flute Player. • 

5 Rachel. 10 Alcibiades and Aspasia. 

The Choice Works of Hans Makart and G. 

Wertheimer. Containing 10 photogravures by Gebbie and Co., and Goupil & 
Co. , from their most celebrated paintings. India proofs, ^ 1 2. 50. 

1 Entry of Charles Y. into Antwerp. 6 Cleopatra on the Cydnus. 

2 Diana Hunting. 7 Cleopatra Meeting Antony. 

3 An Egj'ptian King's Daughter. 8 Revenge of the Flowers. 

4 Titian and his Model. 9 Kiss of the Siren. 

5 Rubens and his Model. 10 Agrippina. 

Burns. — illustrations of the Cotter's Saturday Night and other 

Poems. Section I. 

12 illustrations (photogravures and etchings) from designs by John Faed and 

George Har\^ey, etc. (photogravures by the Gebbie & Husson Co., Limited). 

India proofe, |5.00. 

1 " The miry beasts retreating frae the 6 " Beneath the milk white thorn." 

pleugh." 7 " And let us worship God. " 

2 * 'And weary o' er the moor his course. ' ' 

3 " The lisping infant prattling on his 8 " The twa dogs." 

knee." 9 " Farewell to Ayr. " 

4 " Comes hame perhaps to show a braw 10 "The Vision." 

new gown. " 11" Thou lingering star. ' ' 

5 ' 'A strappin youth he takes the moth- 12 ' ' John Anderson, my joe John. ' ' 

er's eye." 

Burns. — illustrations of Tarn O'Shanter and Auld Lang Syno. 
Section II. 
12 photogravures and etchings. India proofs, $5.00. 

TAM O'SHANTER. AULD LANG SYNE. 

1 "Auld Ayr whom ne'er a town sur- 8 "We twa hae run about the braes." 

passes." 9 "But we've wandered mony a weary 

2 ' ' Where sits our sullen sulky dame. ' ' fitt. ' ' 

3 "The souter tauld his queerest 10 " We twa hae paidl'd in the burn." 

storias." 11 "But seas between us braid hae 

4 "The dreary hour he mounts his roar'd." 

beast in." 12 "And there's my hand, my trusty 

5 * ' Kirk AUoway seemed in a bleeze. ' ' fiere. ' ' 

6 "Warlocks and witches in a dance." 

7 "But left behind her ain gray tail." 



PUBLICATIONS AND IMPORTATIONS. 



Goethe's Reynard the Pox.— Translated by Arnold, 

(unabridged), with all of Kaulbach's 35 illustrations, etchings and photo-engravings. 
8vo, cloth gilt, $1.50. 



Grammont.— Memoirs of the Count de Grammont. 

A new edition, copiously illustrated with 20 portraits by Scriveu, and 17 photo- 
gravures from Leley's "Windsor Beauties," besides 25 new illustrations by 
Delort, (photogravures,) forming an elegant gallery of what Horace Walpole 
terms "The Court of Paplios." With notes by Horace Walpole, Sir Walter 
Scott and Mrs. Anne Jameson. The most complete and elegant edition of this 
graphic picture of the court and times of Charles II. ever published. 8vo, 
cloth gilt, extra, $5.00. 

Half calf, gilt, extra, $7.50. 

Without the 17 Plates of "Windsor Beauties." 8vo, cloth, 

gilt, $3.75. 

An Edition de Luxe, (limited to 500 copies,) with all the plates, on India 

paper, each copy numbered, 4to, full parchment or grained morocco, $12.50. 
hotogravure reproductions by the Gebbie & Husson Co., Limited. 



*' Grammont's Memoirs " is a famous book. It holds an unique place in iho world of literature. 

It is fhe grar>eful day-boolc of the Court of Charles II This inimitable edition of 

a remarkable book follows the translation by Horace Walpole with his Notes and those of 

Sir Walter Scott Merely as a piece of beautiful book-making, we find it difficult 

to discover for it suitable words of commendation.— Sos^oh Daihj Advertiser. 

It is an excellent ediiion at a reasonable price for those who admire the franli cynicism of this 
terrible indictment of the .society of the reign of Charles M.—BnlUmore Sun, Dec. 5, '88. 

The present edition is so complete that it demands a word in regard to the gen M-al cliaracter 
of the worthy (Hamilton) .... a successful and beautiful edition of a fam uis work. 
< —Boston Post, Dec. 15, '88. 

i _ — _ . — 

' Homer. — A Burlesque Translation of Homer in Verse. 

[ By Thomas Bridges. An Entirely New and Modified Edition. Illus- 

[. trated with all the original humorous engravings. 8vo, cloth extra. $3.00. 

I' \* This is a reprint of one of the mo.st humorous productions of the last century ; 

being somewhat modified in language so as to adapt it to readers of the present 
time. Bridges in his book has kept close to the text of Homer, but burlesqued it 
in such a way that humor abounds in every line. The illustrations are an exact 
fac-simile of the original Rowlaudson edition, and give an antique appearance 
to the book, the original of which is now very scarce and commands a high price. 

Hueffer (F.)— Half a Century of Music in England. 

By Francis Hueffer, author of "The Troubadours," "Biographies of Great 
Musicians," " Italian and Other Studies," &c, 8vo, cloth, extra, $2.50. 

*#* The Times, (London,) of April 27th, 1889, in an exh.vustive review of nearly two columns 
AND A HALF, REMARKS INCIDENTALLY : " As fiiT Es the wofk DOW Under Consideration is con- 
cerned, one consoling reflection will mingle with the regret universally felt at this sudden 
and unexpected close of a brilliant career; that had the proposed history been completed, 
the chapters musical readers would have been almost sure to turn to with the liveliest inter- 
est, are precisely those contained in the volume now before us— Wagner, Liszt, and Berlioz." 



10 GEBBIB AND COMPANY'S 



HAPPY-GO-LUCKY PICTURE BOOKS. 

A Novelty in Picture Books. Alike Amusing to Young and Old. 
Always Jolly! — An amusing Movable Picture Book by 

LOTHAR Meggendorfek. Contiiiuing several movable i^ictures in rich colors. 
With rhymes to each. Enclosed in a very striking cover printed in colors. 
Large 4to, boards, $3.25. 

Curious Creatures. — A comical and md^able Picture 

Book of the freaks and frolics of some funny creatures, by LOTHAR Meggexdor- 

FEE. Containing several movable pictures in bright colors. AYith rhymes by 

Lady Hobhouse. Enclosed in a cover printed in many colors. Large 4to, 
boards, $3.25. 

\* The above are the successors to the volume "Look at Me," that had such a 

large sale in England last year, and ran entirely out of print early in the season. 

As those books are nearly all made by hand, only a limited number can be 

secured, early application is therefore necessary. 
"Remarkable for humorous ingenuity."— G?o6e. 
"Most novel of the novelties perhaps that we liave yet seen are the movable toy books by 

Lothar Meggendorfer." — Daily Telegraph. 
"The new movable toy books will send little people into raptures of delight. Easy jingling 

rhymes in English accompany the quaint and amusing pictures." — Daily Chronicle. 
"The best toy books for the nursery we have yet seen." — Liverpool Mercury. 
"The most amusing as well as the most ingenious of gift-books which have come under our 

notice. They are sure to provide unlimited mirth for tlie nursery, and evsn giown-up- 

people cannot help being amused with the grotesqe effects which can be produced by 

making the figures 'act.'" — Vanitu Fair. 

Houssaye (Arsene.) — Seven years at the Comedie Fran- 

cais. In one handsome volume. 8 vo, cloth, gilt. $6.00. 

Illustrated with twelve fine photogravures (by the Gebbie & HussoN Co., 

Limited,) $7.50. 

Indian Life. — (Hindu Muhammadan) Religious and Social. 

By John Campbell Oman, Professor in the Government College of Lahore. 
8vo, cloth, gilt extra, $1.75. 

The Saturday Review, of April 8, 1880, in a highly interesting review of two columns and a half, 
concludes as follows : "Altogether, Mr. Oman has produced a neat volume in which intelli- 
gent observation is illustrated and not overweighted by apt quotation and scholarly 
research." 

The Nation, of May ICth, 1889, in a 1 ^ng review, remarks : . . . , "They consist of sketches 
drawn direct from the life, of the manner in which the Hindu Religion as it exists to-day, 
affects, in his daily life, in his acts, and in his thoughts, the Hindu as he exists to-day . . 
. . but just as a sketch is, oftentimes a great deal more suggestive than the finished pic- 
ture, so it is here." 

*' An extremely interesting little volume We have seldom come aoross a work more 

readable, and th^i view of India presented by it is a truthful one conveyed in a pleasant 
form." — The Athenasum. 

"Replete with valuable and suggestive information about less-known by-paths of Indian 
sociology. Mr. Oman is a shrewd and conscientious observer." — The Academy. 

"Full of interest and instruction The literary and scholarly qualities of the book 

are of a high ordor. It is a valuable contribution to the class of popular, and yet solid, 
works, calculated to increase our knowledge of our Indian fellow-subjects."— -S'co^swian. 



PUBLICATIONS AND IMPORTATIONS. 11 



Laughing Philosopher (The) in the middle of the Nine- 
teenth Century. Edited by Alfred Ckowquill, with 140 ilhistrations by 
Crowquill, Cruikshank and Leech. 12mo, cloth, extra, $1.25. 



Linton (Mrs. E. Lynn). 

History of Joshua Davidson, Communist ; Or the Modem Imitation of 

Christ — how it works on practical life in the nineteenth century. 12mo, cloth, 

extra, $0.75. 



This book was suppressed by the first American publishers. 

Tosliua Davidson" was one of the first, if not the very first, of a now considerable list of 
fictions, dealing with the religious ferments of the day of which "Robert Eismere" is the 
latest. "Joshua Davidson " is a strong work of its kind, and is recommended to those who 
are exercising themselves over Mrs. Ward's Yynok.— Philadelphia Telegraph, Dec. 15, 1888. 



Longfellow's Poem of Nuremberg. — Illustrated with 

28 photogravures from views of the ancient city, and the 27 verses of the poem em- 
bellished with illuminated initial letters from ivories of the middle ages. Copied and 
arranged by Mary E. and Amy Comegys {permission of Houghton, Mifflin d- 
Co.) 4to, cloth gilt, $7.50. 

Edition de Luxe (limited to 500 copies), with plates, on India paper, 

each copy numbered. 4to, full parchment or grained morocco, $12.50. 



The photogravures in this work are made by the Gebbie & Husson Photo- 
gravure Co., Limited. 

.... "One of the most thoroughly satisfactory publications of the season. A miracle of good 
taste and delicate workmanship."— i/Zerar?/ World. 

" This handsome volume containing Longfellow's fine Poem, is profusely illustrated with all the 
notable places, the churches and shrines of the city In an art sense and for care- 
ful mechanical execution, "Nuremberg" is a perfect book." — N. Y. Times, Dec. 16, 1888. 

"It was a wonderfully good thought to make this superb book, just these views in old Nurem- 
berg, in all the luxury of the art of printing, without a word of description, only the pithy 
poetry of Longfellow. Who that remembers his verses and has known the old city .... 
will not be gratified and charmed by this graceful tribute." .... —New York Journal of 
Commerce. 

Macaulay (Dr.) Wonderful Stories of Daring, Peril 

and Adventure, by Dr. James Macaulay, editor of the Leisure Hour, etc., etc. 
Beautifully illustrated with full-page engravings by best artists. 8vo, cloth , 
gilt extra, gilt edges, $1.75. 

^■'^ Besides being very entertaining, this volume is full of instruction for l>oth 
young and old. 

" We are always ready to welcome instructive works by Mr. Macaulay."— 7'ijne.s. 
I " Boys of all ages will find plenty of reading at once wholesome and exciting in Dr. Macaulay's 

' handsome volume." — Guardian. 

[ " A book of stirring interest." — Pall Mall Gazette. 

[ " It is a capital book for boys, and is sure to be popular."— fiecorcZ. 

; " Dr. Macaulay deserves thanks for a book full of ' Wonderful Stories,' that are all true. They 

) are well told, and have the further merit of admirable variety."— Scotsman, 

y " Taken altogether, this is a capital book for a hoy.''— Church Times. 

\ " Wa can most cordially recommend this handsome volume, with its excellent illustrations, not 

only to the juveniles, but to the elders, of every household."— Glasgow) Herald. 



12 GEBBIE AND COMPANY'S 



Manon Lescaut.— By the Abbe Prevost. Illustrated with 

over 200 designs by Maurice Leloir, and 12 original exquisite etchings^ printed 
on Holland paper, proof before letter. 4to, cloth, gilt top, uncut, $12.50. 

\* The most elegant edition of this celebrated French classic ever published. 

"The Romance of 'Manon Lescaut' holds its place in the world's literature bj^ virtue of its 

absolute sincerity in the portrayal of a certain type of womanhood In the depiction 

of Manon and the mad infatuation of her lover, the Abbe Prevost, had distinctly a moral aim in 
view The book will be a luxury to those who seek for choice ai^ecimens of the book- 
making ^vi:'— Literary World, Nov. 24, 1888. 

"This is a new and incomparable edition of a book that will always be censured by large num- 
bers, especially of those who speak the English language, but which will never cease to be 
read and admired by more than condemn it."— -Boston Dally Post, Nov. 30, 1888. 

" We know of no book which is so profusely and eliarmingly illustrated, none which shows such 
variety and ingenuity in design." .... —Evening Bulletin, Nov. 26, 1888. 

"This edition of a French classic is an edition de Luxe and the most elegant of this book ever 
published." .... —Hartford Courant, Dec. 20, ISSS. 



NEW VOLUME BY MISS MARSHALL. 

Marshall (Emma) Our Own Picture-Book of Many 

Places and Many People. Illustrated with upwards of 150 engravings by several 
popular artists. 4to, cloth, gilt and in colors, $1.75. 

\*This new book by the popular author of " Houses on Wheels, " &c., &c., is 
what most of the friends of the little folks will be pleased to find ; the descrip- 
tions of the pictures ])eiiig written in that chatty and personal style that when 
read will appear as if spoken, and save many a hunt for a "Story." ^Whatever 
Miss Marshall writes is always entertaining. 



Nursery Hours, containing Seventy-four Nursery Tales, 

Khymes and Songs, including all the old lavorites. Beautifully illustrated with 
217 colored illustrations by the best artists. Enclosed in a handsome cover, 
printed in colors. 4to, boards, $1.25. 

\*This is, we believe, the most complete collection of nursery literature ever 
published in colors and in one volume. It comprises not only the most popu- 
lar rhymes and songs, but all the old nursery tales that were such favorites with 
former generations. The coloring is bright and pretty, and altogether it makes 
one of the most delightful companions for the nursery. 



CEuvres Choisies Des Grands Maitres Modernes. 

Contenant 50 photogravures. Goupil et Cie. From representative paintings in 
the Paris Salons by French, Spanish, Belgian and American artists. With 
descriptive text by Eugene A. Reed, A. M., author of "French, German and 
Italian Art." Folio, full grained morocco, $20.00. 



PUBLICATIONS AND IMPORTATIONS. 13 



Phillips.-The Dictionary of Biograhical Reference, 

By Lawrence B. Phillips, F. R. A. S. New revised edition. Containing 
over 100,000 brief biographies of all eminent men who have ever lived in all 
times and countries till the present day. Revised and augmented to 1889, by 
Frank Weitenkampf, of the Astor Library, New York. Upwards of 1,000 
pages. Philadelphia, 1889. 8vo, half morocco, $5.00. 

V This work contains reference to all biographies included in over 50 Encyclopsedias and Bio- 
graphical Dictionarieo, none of which includes more than 15,000 biographies— this contains 
more than 100,000. 

From the Libraidan of Congress. 

Washington', D. C, Oct. 13, 1888. 
Dear Sirs;— Phillips' " Dictionary of Biographical Reference" I have long used as the only 
trustworthy guide to the exact full names of all persons, (jxvinq every Christian name in the 
vernacular language of the country to which he belonged. I have had to buy no less than 
four copies of it for the use of my catalogue force. With high regard, 

To Messrs. Gebbie & Co., Publishers. A. R. Spofforp. 

Messes. Gejbbie k Co. , 

Dear Sirs:— Yo\x have conferred a service upon American students by repub- 
lishing, with improvements, "Phillips's Great Index to Biographical Reference." A labor- 
saving, error-saving machine which should stand next to Worcester's and Webster's Diction- 
aries on the library shelf. Faithfully Yours, 

S. AUSTIN ALIBONE. 

NEW EDITION OF PLUTARCH. 
Plutarch's Lives. — Newly Translated, with Notes, and a 

Life. By A. Stewart, M. A., late Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, and 
the late George Long, M. A. With copious Index. 4 vols., 12mo, Vellum 
cloth, leather labels and gilt top, (in box,) $7.00. 

Half calf, gilt, gilt top, (in box,) $11.00, 

Quotations — Everyday Quotations: 

A liandbook of familiar Quotations and how to find them, by J. Hain Friswell. 
12mo, half bound, gilt top, $1.75. 

Reed (J. E.) — The Lives of the Roman Emperors and 

their Associates. From Julius C8esar(iJ. c. 100) to Augustulus (a. d. 47G.) Trans- 
lated from the original text of Suetonius, Tacitus, Monges, Viscouti, Cre\ier, and 
others. Edited by J. Eugene Reed, A. M. 5 vols., 8vo, cloth, gilt, extra, $15.00. 

PROSPECTUS. 

The preparation of the "History of the Lives of the Roman Emperors" dates from the day& 
of the Cfesars. In their lifetimes their portraits were made in marble and bronze by 
famous artists, and their lives were written by contemporary historians, and although both 
the statues and the histories were engulphed in the dark ages that succeeded the fall of 
the empire, yet, as Europe in the Renaissance emerged from ignorance and barbaric desola- 
tion, the histories first were restored to the libraries, and, more slowly, the statues to the 
museums of Europe. 

In the hall of the emperors in the museum of the Capitol at Rome, when we stop to gaze on 
the antique busts of the Ceesars, we naturally endeavor to trace in their sculptured physiog- 
nomies the characters of those princes who, for good or evil, were in their times masters of 
the destinies of a large portion of the human race. 

In the present work we have these portraits faithfully copied, and their story graphically told. 
In every instance the source is acknowledged, so that the reader may authenticate our 
authorities as he proceeds. 



14 GEBBIB AND COMPANY'S 



DR. JOHNSON EDITION. 

Shakespeare's Complete Works: 

With Biographical iutroduotion, and an additioual volume containing a complete 
compendium of each play, historical summan^ and account of the plot and charac- 
ters of each play. With portrait. 7 vols., 12mo, cloth, gilt, $7.00. 

Half Calf, gilt, extra, $14.00. 

\* It is difficult to find a feature not already represented in aU the possible forms 
of publication of Shakespeare's Dramas, but we have noted one very excellent 
form of Shakespeare's works entirely unrepresented in library shape, viz : the 
edition such as Dr. Johnson recommended as the best, in the following words : 
"Those who wish to become acquainted with Shakespeare for the first time, and 
who desire the fullest pleasure that the drama can give, should read eveiy play 
from the fii"st to the last, with utter negligence of all his commentators. When 
fancy is on the wing, it should not stoop at correction or explanation. Particu- 
lar passages may be cleared by notes ; but the general effect is weakened by 
the interruption. Obscurities and niceties may be investigated when time per- 
mits and inclination prompts ; but from beginning to end it is best and safest 
to allow Shakespeare to speak for himself. ' ' Acting on this sage advice, we 
have adopted the text of Johnson and Steevens as revised by Clark and Wright, 
and give the complete works of Shakespeare in their unabridged and perfect 
purity in seven handy volumes, and in case of any reader needing explanation, 
we have added a thorough glossary of obscure words and phrases. In addition 
to this we have given a complete compendium and commentary of the plays 
and a concordance to all the most notable passages, as well as the characters in 
the dramas, besides other features not ibund with the current editions of 
Shakespeare. — Fublisher^Frefaee. 

Compendium to Shakespeare, containing historical 

summary, compendium of each play, and account of the plot and characters of 
each play, with 37 outline illustrations by HowAED, being a supplement to the 
"Dr. Johnson" edition. 1 vol., 12mo, cloth, gilt, ^'l.oO. 

Shakespeare's Songs and Sonnets.— Illustrated by 

Sir John Gilbeet. Chromolithographed in many colors, by Vincent Brooks, 
(Day & Son,) London. With handsome cover beautifully printed in colors. Small 
4to, boards, $1.00. 



Shapley (Rufus E.)— Solid for Mulhooly.— A po- 
litical satire. With 10 full-page new drawings, designed expressly for the work 
by Thomas Nast. 12mo, cloth, $0.75. 
Paper, |0.50. 

It is the keenest and most polished satire of the age' .... It will be the most successful 
gospel of municipal reform that has yet confronted our ring-ridden municipalities.— PAi^a- 
delphia Times. 

Those who hold aloof from city polities, indifferent or ignorant about them or their workings, 

would do well to read this hook.— New York Times. 
One of ihe brightest satires ever written.— iowjst'i^e Courier Journal. 
The satire is so entirely true to the life, and written with such pungent wit, as to make its 

way at once to popular appreciation.— 5a^<imo7e Gazette. 



PUBLICATIONS AND IMPORTATIONS. 16 

Scotland and the Scots: 

Essays illustiati\e of Scottish Lilc, History and Character. By Peter Ross, 
author of "A Life of St. Andrew," &e. 12mo, ch)th, extra, $1.00. 

The characteristics of Scotsmen- are very carefully and accurately portrayed. The ehai>ter on 
the "Scot in America" affords much interesting information regarding his influence upon 
the civilization of the New World. — New York Sun. 



A NEW CHILD S FAVORITE. 
Story Telling (The) Album for our Boys and Girls. 

Beautifully illustrated on every page with 205 large, fine engravings l)y some of 
the best modern illustrators for the young. 4to, cloth, gilt extra and in colors, 
gilt edges, $2.50. 

\* This new juvenile will be found of iucreasing interest by the little folks. The 
pictures are lav^e and beautiful and the stories are written in that easy and 
natural manner that always delight the young. The binding is a rich harmony 
of gold and color. 



Suetonius.— The Lives of the Twelve Caesars. By 

C. SuEToxius Traxquillus. The translation of Alex.ander Thomson, M. D., 
revised and corrected. Illustrated with 24 portraits on steel, from authentic 
antique statutes aud busts of the emperors and their contemporaries, in the 
museums of Europe. 2 vols., royal 8vo, cloth extra, $5.00. 

The above 2 vols, in one, royal, 8vo, cloth, extra, $3.75. 

*^* Suetonius' " Lives of the Ciesars " was held in such estimation that so soon 
after the invention of printing as the year A. D. 1500, no fewer than eighteen 
editions had beeu published, and nearly one hundred have since been added to 
the number. 

This is the first American edition, with copious notes, and is printed from new 
pica type. 

ENGLAND'S STANDARD CLASSIC. 

Taine's History of English Literature, translated by 

Hexry Van Laun. Best Exc;llsh Library Edition. 4 vols., 8vo, cloth, $7.50. 
Half calf or half morocco, extra, $15.00. 

\* We are pleased to say that we have beeu appointed Agents for the American 
market of this handsome edition of the best book on English Literature. 



Turner (P. C.) — A Short History of Art. By Francis C. 

Turner, B. A. Illustrated by copies of some of the most famous Paintings aud 
Sculptures. New Edition. Fully Illustrated, with numerous full-page Plates 
and Woodcuts, large Svo, half bound, gilt top, (roxburgh,) $3.25. 

"A clear and succinct account of the art of various nations. . . . Sure of a wide welcome. 
... He carries us successfully through the Indian, Egyptian, Persian, Assyrian, Greek, 
Koman, Italian, Spanish, Flemish, Dutch, French and English schools. He is especially full 
upon the art ot the middle ages and the Rennaissance, and the illustrations which accom- 
pany the rest will be helpful to students."— Ttwies. 

"His sketches of tlie English school are very masterly and discriminating."— ^rj7is/j Quarterly 

" It is a most conscientious hook."— Daily News. 



IQ GEBBIB AND COMPANY. 



Tennyson's Complete Works. — 13 volumes bound in 3 

ICmo., cloth, $4.50. 

%* This edition is printed from the large-tj^pe 13-volunie edition published by 
Kegan, Paul & Co., and sold at 2s. 6d. per volume, cloth ; it includes "Queen 
Mary " and "Harold," and all the minor poems till 1883. 



White (Rev. Gilbert.) 

The Natural History axd Antiquities of Selborne. ^Thoroughly revised, 
Avith notes by J. E. Hartixg, F. L. S., F. Z. S. New Edition, with ten letters 
not included in any other edition. Profusely illustrated with the famous engrav- 
ings by Bewick, Harvey and others. In one handsome vol., 8vo, cloth, gilt 
extra, gilt edges, $3.50. 

" If any apology be deemed necessary for the appearance of a new edition of one of tJie most 
delightful books in the English language, the reader need only be reminded of the physical 
changes which have taken place since Gilbert White's day in the district of which he wrote, 
and of the vast additions which are daily being made to our knowledge in almost every branch 
of Natural History.''— Exirac^ from Editor's Preface. 

Winton and Millar. — Steam and Electric Practice and En- 
gineering. A practical guide to improved methods of construction and the prin- 
ciples rehiting thereto, with examples, practical rules and formulse. By John 
G. Winton, Engineer, author of "Modern Workshop Practice." Assisted by 
W. J Millar, C. E., Secretary of the Institution of Engineers and Ship- 
builders in Scotland, author of "Principles of Mechanics," etc. With addi- 
tional American Examples, and an Introduction by Joseph M. Wilson, C. E. , 
of I'hiladelphia. Illustrated with 900 engravings. 4 vols., 8vo, cloth, $12.00. 

\*The object of the publication is to supply the practical engineer, ship-builder 
and mechanic with a trustworthy guide to the varied operations of the work- 
shop and the building yard in a convenient form and at a moderate price. It is 
written by practical men, well acquainted with the operations which they de- 
scribe, and seeks to convey to the workman detailed directions regarding his 
work in language such as he is daily familiar with, and, at tlie same time, to 
state clearly the higher principles upon which these operations are based and on 
which they depend for success. 





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